The First Committee of CEI National Coordinators' meeting was held in Rome on 22 February. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi opened the gathering which witnessed the approval by the CEI National Coordinators of four technical cooperation projects to be supported by the CEI Fund at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), financed by Italy (2018 budget). Through its Technical Cooperation Programme, the Fund offers grant-type assistance in support of specific components of EBRD investments and operations. Technical Cooperation operations include support for feasibility and pre-feasibility studies, sector and environmental engineering, management training, capacity building, pre-loan audits.

The first project of EUR 150,000, will target the SME development sector in Belarus and will last 36 months generating up to 18 million EUR of investments. The project aims at facilitating access to finance and promoting the sustainable growth of the SME sector.

The second project of EUR 60,000, addresses the governance of public procurement as well as the capacity of human resources managing procurement with the overall objective of improving them. Through the CEI Fund's resources, scholarships will be granted to procurement professionals from CEI Member States. The main goal is to enable them to participate in a Master’s programme at the University of ToR Vergata in Rome (Italy) and in an Executive Master’s at the Belgrade University.

The third project of EUR 150,000, targets the development of renewable sources of energy in North Macedonia, particularly wind power development. The CEI support will finance the technical assistance linked to an estimated EBRD investment amounting to 25 million EUR for the construction and operation of a wind farm in the southeast part of the country. The needed technical assistance will provide wind resource assessment, wind measurement as well as the project basic design and technical characteristic of the power plant.

The fourth project of EUR 100,000, aims at supporting the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, in Serbia, in its wider efforts to increase the level of energy efficiency in the public infrastructure sector. The technical assistance financed by the CEI Fund will review the public property in the territory of the Province, estimate the energy efficiency potential and prioritise the investment requirements. In this respect, the bankable strategic investment programme in a long-term 10-year perspective amounts to 10 million EUR.

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development