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CEI, 25 years of commitment to EU integration

Secretary Caracciolo, formerly a forum, now we support projects

13 November, 16:44

(ANSA) - TRIESTE - It was founded two days after the fall of the Berlin Wall, as a ''Quadrangular'' including Italy, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia, on November 11, 1989. Its aim was to promote a dialogue among the countries of Central and Southern Europe, while barriers of the past were falling and everyone was hoping for a common destiny. Over 25 years, the Central European Initiative (CEI), the oldest regional organization in Europe, has enlarged to include five, six, and now 18 states (10 Eu members, 5 candidates and 3 'neighbours') and has been one of the ''drivers'' of EU enlargement to the East.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the entity, whose general secretariat is located in Trieste, this role has also been recognized by the UN, which adopted a resolution to strengthen ties with CEI, that since 2011 has been assigned the status of observer at the 'United Nations General Assembly.

CEI Secretary General, Ambassador Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri spoke about this international entity in an interview with ANSA, and said that the UN resolution ''continues the substantial evolution of activities and initiatives of this organization.

From a 'space' of dialogue which was basically regional, the CEI has gradually become a project centre, an agency that aims to develop projects and give support in all the member countries, especially those who have problems with accessing EU membership.

This is based on the Commission's attitude, inclined to orientation, since the '90s. Even more so when this results in a greater attention to macro-regional strategy. ''Therefore, the CEI is first of all commited to aggregating territories: ''We already have the Danube - said Caracciolo - then the Baltics, next week will see the launch of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, which we take very seriously, and finally the Alpina macroregion, which is being defined. In all these areas, the CEI has at least one member country, therefore it plays a role as 'bridge' among the macro-regions''.(ANSA).

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