The CNC meeting held in Trieste at the CEI HQ on 18 September focused on recent and forthcoming events and activities under the Macedonian CEI Presidency and of the CEI Secretariat, including the preparation of the upcoming Ministerial Working Lunch in New York, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, on 1 October and the CEI Summit on 19 November in Skopje. The recent steps taken by the CEI to strengthen relations with the EU and other institutions such as the EC and the EEAS were also outlined, as well as the contacts for cooperation established among CEI and other organisations such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe and BSEC.
 
The current migration crisis was among the main topics of discussion during the meeting. As part of the CEI’s response to the urgent situation in Europe, and more specifically in the Balkans, the CEI Cooperation Fund Extraordinary Call for Proposals on Migration and Related Security issues was presented. The Director of the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) Regional Centre, Tamara Mugosa, was invited to talk about the magnitude of the situation and to give a insight into the activities of the Centre. Her presentation provided a great opportunity for discussion and identification for an effective MARRI-CEI collaboration in the immediate future.
 
During the meeting  five Technical Cooperation projects, supported by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, were approved: two on transport, two on energy and one on support to SMEs, with 630.000 EUR. Eight projects were approved in the context of the Know-how Exchange Programme (KEP) ITALY in sectors such as capacity building, good governance, innovation, and environment and disaster prevention, with an amount of 260.000 EUR.
 
The methodology behind the elaboration of EU projects and their contribution to the implementation of the CEI Plan of Action was presented to the National Coordinators.
 
Finally, the Macedonian CEI Presidency presented its proposal of bestowing the CEI Medal of Honour upon Amb. Heidemaria Gurer for her successful guidance and excellent results during the Austrian CEI Presidency 2014.

Director of the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) Regional Centre, Tamara Mugosa