Regional cooperation has remained a decisive tool to ensure cooperative relations and promote political dialogue. At the same time, regional cooperation proved helpful to mitigate the emergence of potential dividing lines between countries in and out the EU, in and out NATO, in and out the Macro-Regional Strategies established since 2008. Within this framework, the CEI has fine-tuned its core political mission, which can be summarised in just one sentence: regional cooperation for European integration.” said CEI Secretary General Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri while addressing the Western Balkans Ministers for Foreign affairs in Trieste on 12 July.
 
In the framework of the Western Balkans Process, Italy hosted in Trieste the Heads of Government, the Foreign Ministers and the Ministers of Economy of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and representatives of the European Union and the International Financial Institutions. Western Balkans Ministers of Transport also met together with Italian and EU Institutions.
 
As stated in the Declaration by the Italian Chair, participants greatly valued the complementary contribution of regional institutions and mechanisms “as the Central European Initiative, the Regional Cooperation Council, the Adriatic Ionic Initiative, the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative, which strive for the common objective of strengthening the regional cooperation dimension and building a prosperous and inter-connected area”.

Several parallel events took pace in the framework of the Trieste Summit: the Civil Society Forum, the Business Forum and the Youth Forum.
 
In particular, the CEI was actively involved in the organisation of the Civil Society Forum, which gathered representatives of over fifty civil society organisations, think tanks, policy institutes and other associations from the countries of the Western Balkans and the European Union. In the context of the CSF, the workshop “Migrations – strengthening the role of civil society” was hosted at the CEI HQs.
 
See also:
EC press release “Western Balkans Summit 2017: delivering for the region” 
Civil Society Forum recommendations  
 
 
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development