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At CEI Summit in Rome, Minister Dr Cerar underscores its role in opening up EU prospects

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On behalf of the Slovenian Government, Foreign Minister Dr Miro Cerar attended the CEI Summit in Rome gathering prime ministers of the Central European Initiative Member States. In his remarks, he underscored the CEI’s role in the history of European integration processes and opening up of EU prospects for new members

At the Summit, Minister Cerar expressed his support and compliments for the 2019 Italian Presidency. In the year marking the thirtieth anniversary of the CEI, Italy’s programme has made a valid contribution by supporting non-EU CEI Member States, addressing migration, strengthening economic and cultural cooperation, focusing on the issues of youth migration and unemployment, combating corruption, and enhancing scientific cooperation and science diplomacy. To further highlight the CEI’s anniversary, the Italian Presidency strived towards enhancing the Initiative’s regional and local dimensions by promoting cultural and historical ties among European cross-border regions as an element of unity and connectedness.

Minister Cerar underscored the CEI’s role in the history of European integration processes and opening up prospects for new members. Other Heads of Government attending also endorsed the CEI's ongoing support for the non-EU Member States pending a reform of the bloc by sharing experience and co-funding projects aimed at enhancing these countries’ capacities for adopting European standards and their overall stability.

As to EU integration, the gathering of prime ministers in Rome provided a welcome platform for an exchange of views on the enlargement process and the future of the Union. The participants focused on the role of all Member States in facilitating the connectivity of various integration processes in Southeast Europe, on adequate response to the topical issues at stake, particularly the impact of migration, cultural and scientific cooperation, youth unemployment and migration, and the CEI’s business dimension.

The region has much untapped potential that must be explored, especially among young people, who are moving abroad with no plans to return. The Positive Agenda for Youth in the Western Balkans initiative offers a good alternative; however, the countries in the region must yet follow its lead and actively engage in resolving this issue. Alongside other practices, such as the Franco-German Youth Office, the Agenda has paved the way for the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office.

In the margins of the Summit Minister Cerar met the heads of delegations of Member States.