Central European Initiative - CEI

Central European Initiative - CEI

Founded in 1989, the CEI is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration through cooperation among its Member States. It combines multilateral diplomacy and project management, both as donor and recipient, while bridging European macro-regions.

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Via Genova 9 , Trieste , 34121 Italy
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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Environmental Management
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

The Central European Initiative (CEI), founded in Budapest on 11 November 1989, is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union (EU), other interested public institutions or private and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as international and regional organisations. In order to offer a solid contribution to European integration, the CEI combines multilateral diplomacy and project management, both as donor and recipient. Its institutional and geographical position enables the CEI to act as a bridge between macro-regions.

The CEI strategic objectives are the following:

  • Support CEI Member States on their path towards European integration;
  • Promote the alignment of CEI Member States to EU standards;
  • Implement small and medium-sized projects;
  • Open to convert constructive ideas into innovative results.

In this context, the aim of the political cooperation is to supply the countries and their institutions with a flexible, pragmatic platform for regional cooperation, while focusing on their preparation to a future accession to the European Union (EU). In doing so, special attention is given to capacity building of the non-EU CEI Member States which, thanks to its ideal location, is pursued through know-how transfer and exchange of experience among those countries which are members of the EU and those which are not. The CEI is actively engaged in supporting projects in various areas of cooperation, also through the mobilisation of financial resources providing greater possibilities for studying, financing and executing national and international projects.

The CEI's added value lies in the specific combination of operational structure and funds and instruments.

The Organisation’s priorities within the established areas of cooperation are clearly defined in the triennial Plan of Action.

The CEI operates in a flexible manner to promote intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and business cooperation.

Governmental Dimension
Provides political and economic orientation and is responsible for the organisational and financial directives of the CEI. It is composed of the Committee of National Coordinators (CNC), key body responsible for the definition, coordination, management and implementation of CEI cooperation; Working bodies, i.e., Networks of Focal Points, project implementation groups and ad hoc task forces); the Secretariat, executive body managing the overall activities of the Organisation. It also deals with the development and implementation of projects and is located in Trieste (Italy).

Decisions are taken and approved by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and the Heads of Government, meeting respectively once a year. The Presidency is held by a CEI Member State and rotates on an annual basis.

Parliamentary Dimension
CEI representatives of national Parliaments cooperate and meet in the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Committee and the General Committees (on Political and Home Affairs; on Economic Affairs; on Cultural Affairs).

Business Dimension
Promotes an active participation of the business communities of the CEI Member States in a bottom-up approach, fostering inputs, open discussions and recommendations for Political Leadership.

The Parliamentary Dimension and the Business Dimension have their own structure and rules of procedure. The roles and tasks of the various CEI structures are defined in the CEI Guidelines and Rules of Procedure adopted by the Heads of Government. 

The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union (EU), other interested public institutions or private and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as international and regional organisations. In order to offer a solid contribution to European integration, the CEI combines multilateral diplomacy and project management, both as donor and recipient, while also bridging European macro-regions.

The CEI strategic objectives are the following:

  • Support CEI Member States on their path towards European integration;
  • Promote the alignment of CEI Member States to EU standards;
  • Implement small and medium-sized projects.

In this context, the aim of the political cooperation is to supply the countries and their institutions with a flexible, pragmatic platform for regional cooperation, while focusing on their preparation to a future accession to the European Union (EU). In doing so, special attention is given to capacity building of the non-EU CEI Member States which, thanks to its ideal location, is pursued through know-how transfer and exchange of experience among those countries which are members of the EU and those which are not. The CEI is actively engaged in supporting projects in various areas of cooperation, also through the mobilisation of financial resources providing greater possibilities for studying, financing and executing national and international projects.

The CEI's added value lies in the specific combination of operational structure and funds and instruments.

The Organisation’s priorities within the established areas of cooperation are clearly defined in the triennial Plan of Action.