On 14 June, a delegation from the CEI-Executive Secretariat headed by Secretary General Roberto Antonione paid a visit to Zagreb to meet with the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman.
Enhanced cooperation to tackle the fast-changing environment, recognising the added value of regional cooperation, was at the centre of the visit.
In this regard, the situation in Ukraine, triggering tremendous impacts - human tragedy on its territory in the first place, as well as other energy-linked consequences all over Europe - was discussed. Both PM Plenković and Foreign Minister Grlić Radman underlined the role Croatia was playing, especially as regards reducing the dependence on Russian energy and diversifying the supply routes by becoming an energy hub for Central Europe through the Adriatic Sea.
The interlocutors agreed that only joint efforts in finding solutions would be beneficial to the worrying situation, and that the continuation of the European integration process was essential for the security of the continent. Moreover, regional cooperative formats such as the CEI, could play an important role in these processes.
Secretary General Antonione presented the CEI activities in response to the unjustified aggression on Ukraine, and those fostering European integration. He stressed, in particular, that Croatia as a success story of accession, had an important role to play with its know-how and experience for EU enlargement. A distinctive feature of the CEI was recognised especially along these lines, namely EU CEI countries helping non-EU CEI Member States by sharing and transferring knowledge.
Furthermore, Antonione outlined the activities of the CEI-Executive Secretariat related to cross-border cooperation, a very important element for the integration process, mentioning, in particular, a project related to the environmental protection of the North Adriatic Sea.
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(photo credits: Government & MFA of the Republic of Croatia)
The Republic of Croatia has been a member of the CEI since 1992. It has held the CEI Presidency twice, in 1998 and 2018.