The Meeting of the Heads of Government of the CEI Member States in Budva on 3 December - gathering Prime Ministers or their representatives of the CEI Member States as well as high-level representatives of WHO and EBRD - marked the final phase of the Montenegrin CEI Presidency.
The event was held at a crucial moment for the region, in particular in jointly facing the consequences of the pandemic and the current and future challenges.
In this regard, Prime Minister, Zdravko Krivokapić, who chaired the event, underlined that multilateralism and regional cooperation reinforced by solidarity between countries, were the best possible way for their successful tackling and leaving no one behind. Moreover, he underlined that no society could reach economic development after a crisis without preserving and enhancing human potential.
Along the same lines, Secretary General Roberto Antonione pointed out that within these challenging times, “the CEI as regional cooperation format has been trying to engage through firm connections to government institutions - providing its support for experience exchange between its EU- and non-EU Members States on crucial themes and strategies, thus cherishing the solidarity - while also linking economic and social issues, in particular health, often in cooperation with partners”. "At the same time while upholding this approach, creating opportunities, especially for young people, was also on the top of the agenda", SG Antonione added.
In this setting, the Prime Ministers reflected upon the state-of-play of the European integration process, on the importance of sustainable development and on the overall response to Covid 19, underlining indeed the relevance of multilateralism and solidarity through exchange of experience, joint actions and strategic partnerships for their effective tackling and the commitment of their countries to these concepts.
The Summit also concluded the CEI Economic Forum held on 2-3 December with a special Prime Ministers’ Panel on the Post Pandemic future of Europe and was closed with the transfer of the CEI Presidency from Montenegro to Bulgaria, effective as of 1 January 2022.
The Joint Statement endorsed at the Meeting expressed support to the European integration process and welcomed possibilities for cooperation initiatives further tackling the fields already on top of the CEI Agenda such as sustainable economies, climate awareness, connectivity building and just societies through the promotion of education, human rights, good health and well-being. The document especially calls for the inclusion of technological advancements, green investments, international scientific cooperation, digitalization; it also underlines that forging strong partnerships and intensifying cooperation …among governments, parliaments, businesses, local actors, civil society, as well as with relevant organisations sharing same principles and goals, could optimize the benefits for the region, strengthen good-neighbourly relations, build trust and foster positive synergies among the stakeholders.
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