The Central European Initiative (CEI) was founded in Budapest on 11 November 1989. It is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration and sustainable development through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union, international and regional organisations as well as with other public or private institutions and non-governmental organisations. While acting as a platform for political dialogue, the CEI has developed a strong operational, result-oriented approach to regional cooperation. It combines multilateral diplomacy and fund, programme and project management as both donor and recipient. The everyday CEI activities are handled by the CEI-Executive Secretariat in Trieste, including the development and implementation of projects.
Functioning & Structure
The CEI operates in a flexible manner to promote intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and business cooperation.
The Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) is the key body responsible for the definition, coordination, management and implementation of CEI cooperation as well as for the implementation of CEI programmes and projects through appropriate structures. It meets frequently in order to discuss and coordinate cooperation within the various bodies of the CEI as well as in relation with other international and regional organisations. It is assisted by the CEI Secretariat and prepares the documents to be approved by the CEI Summit or by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting.
The CEI Summit is one of the most significant bodies, gathering the Heads of Government of the eighteen CEI Member States. It takes decisions on the political and economic orientation for CEI cooperation and gives visibility to the organisation. It is usually convened in autumn by the CEI Presidency, which is held in turn by each of the 18 CEI Member States.
Decisions on organisational and financial matters of the CEI are taken at the MFA Meeting, convened once a year in spring. It is chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the country holding the CEI Presidency.
CEI representatives of national Parliaments cooperate and meet in the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Committee and the General Committees (on Political and Home Affairs; on Economic Affairs; on Cultural Affairs). The annual chairmanship of the Parliamentary Dimension rotates according to the annual CEI Presidency.
The CEI also promotes an active participation of the business communities of the CEI Member States in a bottom-up approach, fostering inputs, open discussions and recommendations for cooperation.