''Scientific diplomacy'' and the ''New Silk Road'' were on top of the agenda of the visit paid by Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, Secretary General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the CEI Headquarters in Trieste, on 7 February 2018.
 
Amb. Belloni had the chance to meet with the executive level and the staff of the CEI Executive Secretariat, who provided her with an overview of the main CEI developments from a political and project-oriented perspective. The gathering was also an opportunity to illustrate the up-to-date actions implemented in the framework of the main CEI funds and instruments – CEI Cooperation Fund, CEI Fund at the EBRD,  CEI participation in EU Projects.
 
CEI Secretary General, Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri declared that “In this period of uncertainty at European level, this visit is very important to our organisation, representing continuity in its administration, but also an opportunity to submit a dossier to the future government. Giving the CEI and its Balkan integration policy an important place in the framework of European integration is something of great importance, especially because our 'constituency' is made up both of member countries and countries that wish to join the EU, and even of countries with privileged relationships. Continuing to develop this initiative is a cornerstone of our future commitment in the whole area''.
 
Amb. Belloni emphasised that the CEI was evolving way beyond the regional framework in which it was born. She pointed out that it should in the future be a privileged interlocutor with the European Commission acting as a bridging institution with the Western Balkans and with the Eastern countries. She highlighted that the CEI had been able to pursue its objectives even at this time of European crisis, and not only towards the Balkans but also towards the so-called Višegrad Group, i.e. those most challenging European countries from a European system point of view, i.e., Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
 
As for the ''New Silk Road'', Caracciolo underlined the ''important connections'' between Northeastern Italy and the Balkans by pointed out that ''obviously, while maintaining a careful and cautious attitude towards this great Chinese project, but it is better for us to join it immediately before it is too late''.
 
Amb. Belloni also took part in a meeting with the representatives of the institutions belonging to the Trieste Science  System, with the participation of Prof. Stefano Fantoni, president of the Trieste International Foundation for Progress and Freedom which is in charge of 2020 EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF). “The start of the process of “diplomacy for science” becomes an important component for the development of the ESOF 2020 project. Moreover, we have succeeded in demonstrating to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Trieste scientific system is very strong and compact" Fantoni underlined.
 
Amb. Belloni also had the opportunity to meet with the President of the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia, Debora Serracchiani and Roberto Dipiazza, Mayor of Trieste.
 
  • Press clipping available HERE.

Meeting with the CEI Staff


Meeting with the representatives of the institutions belonging to the Trieste Science System

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