The Seminar was attended on the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers (Belarus, Moldova) and high-level government officials (Austrian CEI Presidency, Ukraine, Poland, Serbia). The EU was represented by its office in Minsk, the CEI Secretariat by the Alternate Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General. Students from the Minsk State University, Faculty of Foreign Relations, participated in the discussion session.
The CEI Seminar’s goal was to offer a platform to the CEI Member States, which at the same time, are participating in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in order to exchange experience and views in particular being confronted with the crisis in Ukraine. All present EaP countries, notwithstanding their different EU approach, showed great interest in the CEI Eastern Partnership cooperation. Through its project-oriented working method the CEI was considered a flexible basis for regional cooperation of the three Eastern Partners within the CEI. Transport, infrastructure, energy efficiency, agriculture, education and research, cultural exchange, civil society were identified as fields of action.
The Minsk Seminar marked a new start for cooperation between the CEI and the EaP Member States as well as for closer links between the three CEI Eastern Partners themselves. Follow-up seminars are envisaged to take place in Kiev at the end of the year as well as in Moldova.