The second edition of the “scientific and practical” symposium - under the title "Combating illegal migration and illicit human trafficking" - was organised by the Department for International Affairs of the University King Danylo on 16 – 17 March.

Minsk has a population of more than two million, in a country of 9.5 million people. Road and traffic connections are centred around the capital, and in total, the road network of Belarus exceeds 86,000 km. About 16,000 km of the country’s major highways carry the bulk of freight and passenger traffic.
 
The EBRD is providing a long-term 42.5 million EUR loan for the completion of the outer (second) ring road in Minsk, which will enable better interconnections around the Belarusian capital and improved links between the country’s major highways.
In the framework of the long-standing cooperation between the CEI Secretariat and OGS (Italian National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics),  the CEI is glad to announce that applications are accepted for the Summer School on Blue Growth in the Euro-Mediterranean Region 2018.

Selected candidates will be granted fellowships covering their expenses for travel and accommodation and the mobility of several participants from the CEI region will be co-financed by the CEI.

The CEI and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), in special partnership with the Media Program South East Europe of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), have opened the Call for Applications 2018 of the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism.

The Call is divided into two categories: “Professional journalists” (4.000 EUR) and “Young professional journalists” (1.000 EUR).
 
During the 2015-2016 crisis, the territorial dimension of migration management was on top of the international agenda and focused on the improvement of long-term reception and integration of asylum seekers and refugees.
 
CEI Deputy Secretary General, Antal Nikoletti, took part in the 1st TESI international meeting, entitled “Towards ESOF 2020 Trieste – Fostering networks and collaborations” held in Trieste on 15 March. The event allowed for a first open debate on the forthcoming activities related to ESOF 2020, whose main event is taking place in Trieste on 4-10 July 2018.

The first innovation vouchers for “green” solutions were awarded in Belgrade, Serbia on 13 March. The award ceremony took place before the Minister of Innovation and Technological Development, Nenad Popović, the Minister of Environmental Protection, Goran Trivan, and the EBRD management team, including Terry McCallion, EBRD Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, and Dan Berg, EBRD Director for Serbia. 

On 13-14 March, the Municipality of Igoumenitsa, as Lead Partner, hosted the Kick off meeting of the project INTER-CONNECT (Intermodality Promotion and Rail Renaissance in Adriatic – Ionian Region) financed under the Interreg ADRION Programme and funded by the ERDF and IPAII funds.
 
The 2018 edition of the Ex Oriente Film Workshop took place in Prague on 3-9 March, connecting East European filmmakers to key decision makers - producers, broadcasters, distributors and festival programmers worldwide. Director/producer teams were challenged to develop innovative projects and open their horizons to different forms of international collaboration.
 
The launching press conference of the NAMIRG project took place on 9 March at the CEI headquarters in Trieste. The event was attended by media representatives as well as by local authorities and project partners.

Public and private institutions registered in a CEI Member State, as well as international and regional organisations, are invited to apply to the CEI Cooperation Fund for innovative actions favouring mobility and networking. Proposals need to focus on capacity building by transferring and sharing know-how, in particular from EU CEI Member States to non-EU CEI Member States.

The Italian National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS) and the University of Trieste are organising an Advanced Master’s Course in Sustainable Blue Growth for researchers, scientists and managers interested in bringing scientific excellence and technological innovation at the center of initiatives and strategies for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea area.

In the framework of the EU-funded project  ITHACA (InnovaTion in Health And Care for All) - aimed at enhancing efficient regional ecosystems by supporting the development of effective and innovative health-related solutions for an active and healthy aging - the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region organised the Second Regional Stakeholders’ Workshop in Trieste on 22 February.
 
A cross border training session on ICT took place in Venice on 27 February 2018 within the framework of the SECNET (Crossborder institutional cooperation for Port Security Enhancement) co-financed by the Interreg programme VA Italy-Slovenia 2014 – 2020.

The CEI Fellowship for Writers in Residence is an award aimed at encouraging cross-border cooperation and promotion in the field of literature for young writers from Central European countries not yet part of the European Union (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine)

On 10 February the COME-IN! project participated in the celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, organised by the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Site and Municipality of Pompei.

The first meeting of the Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) under the Croatian CEI Presidency 2018 took place in Zagreb on 16 February.

During the gathering, Croatia presented its priorities and Calendar of Events, i.e. the high-level meetings planned throughout the year. The CEI Secretariat briefed the CNC on its recent and upcoming activities.
 
Special attention was also paid to the activities planned for enhancing cooperation among and between the Member States, with the EC as well as with other international institutions.
 

The Friuli Venezia Giulia International Piano Competition is taking place in Sacile (Italy) on 4 - 11 May 2018. The competition is open to pianists of any nationality, born after the 1st of May 1985. First prize winners of previous editions are not allowed to participate.           
The CEI is supporting the 2018 edition of the Competition in order to encourage participants from CEI countries: 

The CEI-ES organised a transnational training in Brussels on 13 February under the title “Enhancing planning capacities of passenger transport systems in Central Europe”.

The Regional Hidden Economy Forum in Skopje, Macedonia on 7 February was organised by the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) from Macedonia, in cooperation with the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) from Albania and the Democracy 4 Development (D4D) from Kosovo*. The forum brought together over 90 researchers and policymakers from 10 CEI countries to discuss the latest trends in measuring the hidden economy and transforming the findings into policies.
 

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development