The third CEI Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) Meeting under the BiH Presidency took place in Vienna on 30 May 2016, back to back with a Networking Meeting with other International Organisations. On that occasion, Belarus informed the participants that it was ready to assume the Presidency in 2017. Member States appreciated this decision, which proves the CEI’s commitment of actively involving its Eastern countries in its activities and thus contributing to a balanced participation of all countries. It was agreed that the Ministers for Foreign Affairs - at their forthcoming meeting in Banja Luka on 16 June 2016 - would adopt a decision on next year’s Presidency.
 
In this context, the Presidency paid special attention to the latest organisational details, protocol and logistics of the MFA Meeting. It also provided information on the expected participation of the Ministers and presented the Agenda of the Ministerial meeting including topics such as the migration crisis, sustainable development and connectivity in the Region as well as the macro-regional approach in the European integration process. The Ministers will also share views on the role of the new Plan of Action 2017-2020 in tackling these issues and will adopt two decisions: one on the Belarusian CEI Presidency in 2017 and one on the budget of the CEI Cooperation Fund for 2017. At the end of their meeting, the Ministers shall adopt a Communiqué.

The CNC endorsed the cooperation with the OSCE on three tangible projects. Two of them might be supported by a CEI contribution of 30.000 EUR: the first project regards the promotion of self-employment of woman and youth in some Balkan countries, the second project focuses on gender-sensitive labour migration policies in Eastern Europe. The third project involves money politics in Southeast Europe and the CEI will be involved in its activities without any financial contribution.

During the CNC meeting, focus was also put on the upcoming Meeting of the CEI Parliamentary Committee (Sarajevo, 30 May – 1 June 2016) and on the results of the recently held CEI/EBRD event Supporting Local Enterprises and SMEs along China’s Belt and Road Initiative in South Eastern Europe (Trieste, 19 May 2016).

At the outskirts of the Meeting, the CEI Medal of Honour was awarded to Amb. Heidemaria Guerer for successfully chairing the CEI during the Austrian Presidency in 2014, obtaining a number of significant results. Indeed, the Networking Meeting with International Organisations succeeding the CNC Meeting, was established during the Austrian CEI Presidency and since then proves to be an effective platform for exchanging ideas and establishing cooperation and joint projects. 
  • Photo gallery available here