Zagreb – On the first day of the year, the Republic of Croatia took over the Presidency of the Central European Initiative (CEI). Thereby the Croatian Parliament assumed the Chairmanship of the Parliamentary Dimension of this organization that brings together 18 member states.
The priorities of the Croatian Presidency are focused on EU enlargement, the transfer of the know-how and experiences from the pre-accession process, economic and cultural cooperation, migration challenges, intensification of CEI’s cooperation with other regional and international organizations and continued parliamentary cooperation. Several ministerial meetings and a summit are envisaged to take place during the Presidency. Meetings of national coordinators and various expert meetings and conferences will be held as well.
During its Presidency of the CEI Parliamentary Dimension, the Croatian Parliament will host two important gatherings. The CEI Parliamentary Dimension Parliamentary Committee is expected to meet in May and the CEI PD Parliamentary Assembly in November.
Peđa Grbin is the head of the Delegation of the Croatian Parliament to the Central European Initiative Parliamentary Dimension. Other two members are Darko Horvat and Damir Mateljan, while Mihael Zmajlović has been appointed deputy member. Pursuant to the CEI PD Rules of Procedure, in 2018 Grbin will also be the chairperson of the CEI Parliamentary Dimension.
The Central European Initiative was established in 1989 as an intergovernmental forum for political, economic and cultural cooperation. The Parliamentary, Governmental and Business Dimensions are the three pillars of the structural framework for the CEI’s activities aimed at achieving strategic goals such as strengthening cohesion to prevent the creation of divisions, supporting less developed members, strengthening the cooperation among members, supporting the European integration process, strengthening cooperation with the EU through the implementation of its programmes, promoting civil society as a motor of change and democratic processes.
Croatia joined CEI membership in 1992. Other CEI members are: Albania (1996), Austria (1989), Belarus (1996), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992), Bulgaria (1996), Macedonia (1993), Moldova (1996), Poland (1991), Romania (1996), Montenegro (2006), Czech Republic (1993), Italy (1989), Slovakia (1993), Slovenia (1992), Serbia (2000) and Ukraine (1996).