The second meeting of the Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) under the CEI Bulgarian Presidency 2022 took place in Trieste on 11 May, the first in a fully in-person format since the outbreak of the pandemic. The lively discussions started by taking stock of the actions carried out in response to the war in Ukraine and by exploring future supportive actions.
Overall satisfaction was expressed with the actions already taken in this direction (Secretariat and Presidency’s statements condemning the war; and the CEI Humanitarian contribution). As to future actions, the CNC discussed the request of support submitted to the Secretariat by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine for the implementation of the project “Creation of a network of Ukrainian Educational Hubs”. The main aim of this project is to help the educational process under the national curriculum for Ukrainian students who due to the war had to move temporarily abroad in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and other countries.
Both the Presidency and the Secretariat listed their respective ongoing/upcoming activities underlining the Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting (date still to be decided), and the strengthening of the links with the EU and its institutions, as well as other international and regional organisations, the UN in first place. With regard to the latter, it was agreed that a draft Resolution “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Central European Initiative”, would be presented on the occasion of the biannual meeting between the UN and regional organisations acting as observers in the UN General Assembly, to be held later this year. This, also to be able to continue contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals across the region.
As to the CEI’s core mission aimed at fostering EU integration, all Member States agreed on the importance of strongly promoting the process in all its forms. The EU CEI Member States in particular should continue fostering the concept outside of the CEI arena as well, inter alia in Brussels and within other EU countries.
The gathering then witnessed the approval of the 25 best-rated Cooperation Activity proposals (regional events and activities involving representatives of the CEI countries and beyond focused on various topical issues, to be held in the second half of the year) selected under the recent CEI Cooperation Fund Call. A priority project under the Know-how Exchange Programme financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD was also approved. The project focuses on providing advisory support for strengthening the capacities for diaspora engagement and evidence-based Migration Policy Planning, to be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Skopje (North Macedonia), thus contributing to the constant endeavour to enhance cooperation with other international players. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the IOM in 2016.
Finally, the National Coordinators took note of the Annual Report 2021 of the SG, which will soon be submitted for approval to the CEI Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
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