Place:Central European Initiative

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CEI members

The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a forum of regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, counting 18 member states. It was formed in Budapest in 1989. The body was developed on the basis of earlier experiences with The Alps-Adriatic Working Group.[1] The CEI headquarters have been in Trieste, Italy, since 1996.


The Central European Initiative or CEI, is the largest and oldest forum of regional cooperation in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. It now counts 17 member states, many of whom are not even part of Central Europe: Albania, Belarus , Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland , Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine . The origin of the Central European Initiative lies in the creation of the Quadragonale in Budapest on 11 November 1989 whose founding members were Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).

The Initiative aimed at overcoming the division in blocks by re-establishing cooperation links, among countries of different political orientations and economic structures.

At the first Summit in Venice in 1990, Czechoslovakia was admitted and the Initiative was renamed Pentagonale. In 1991, with the admission of Poland it became the Hexagonale.

The organisation was renamed Central European Initiative (CEI) in 1992. On the same occasion, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia were admitted as member states.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia were admitted to the CEI in 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. In 1996 Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine joined the CEI as full-fledged members.

The current membership derives from the adhesion of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (afterwards State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and later on Serbia) in 2000 and of Montenegro in 2006.


The CEI has a three-pillar system: It cooperates in governmental dimension, parliamentary dimension and business dimension.

It promotes connectivity and diversity through 6 main areas: Good governance, economic growth, media freedom, environmental protection, intercultural cooperation and scientific cooperation/ education & training.

The CEI implements is activities through its cooperative activities, EU-projects, Know-how exchange programme and technical cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and development(EBRD).

Secretary General

In 2019, Mr. Roberto Antonione (Italy) has taken up his duties as secretary general.

CEI Presidencies

Year Country
1989 Hungary
1990 Italy
1991 SFR Yugoslavia
1992 Austria
1993 Hungary
1994 Italy
1995 Poland
1996 Austria
1997 Bosnia and Herzegovina
1998 Croatia
1999 Czech Republic
2000 Hungary
2001 Italy
2002 Macedonia
2003 Poland
2004 Slovenia
2005 Slovakia
2006 Albania
2007 Bulgaria
2008 Moldova
2009 Romania
2010 Montenegro
2011 Serbia
2012 Ukraine
2013 Hungary
2014 Austria
2015 Macedonia
2016 Bosnia and Herzegovina
2017 Belarus
2018 Croatia
2019 Italy
2020 Montenegro
2021 Montenegro (due to covid related cancellation of most of the 2020 program)


Founding members:

Joined later:

See also


  1. Andrew Cottey, ed (1999). Subregional Cooperation in the New Europe. Palgrave. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-349-27196-2. 
  2. "CEI Summit successfully held in Zagreb". Central European Initiative. 2018-05-12. 

External links