09/25/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/25/2020 07:50
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Ingrid Brocková represented the Slovak Republic at the virtual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central European Initiative (CEI) on 24 September 2020. The event was organized by Montenegro that is chairing this regional platform in 2020.
The core topic of the meeting of the representatives of the diplomacy ministries of the Central and Eastern European countries and Western Balkans countries was the discussion about the solution to the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the CEI countries and the exchange of views on how the national economies can best recover from the result of the virus, and strengthen mutual relations that would also offer a new perspective for the existing regional cooperation.
'This crisis reminded us of the core reason why regional organizations were founded and why they are so much needed nowadays,' stated State Secretary Brocková in her address today. She also expressed her pleasure that Slovakia was able to quickly mobilize its assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries, whether in the form of a financial contribution or through the use of material humanitarian assistance. 'The cooperation between the CEI and other international organizations in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic shows us that a unified and a coordinated response is the best possible solution for all of us.' The State Secretary also appreciated the special CEI grant challenge organized for the assistance to individual countries, in which the STEMI company from Košice was among the successful applicants.
In her address State Secretary Brocková further emphasized the importance of the continuation of the mutual support and close cooperation of the CEI countries not only in the fight against the corona crisis but also in the following recovery of the national economies and the progress of our society after the crisis.
At the end of the meeting the ministers adopted a joint statement in which they emphasize the role of the CEI in promoting a constructive political dialogue and cooperation among its member countries and in reinforcing the economic stability and economic growth of the region through concrete programs and projects.
The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a regional grouping geared towards political, economic and cultural cooperation, with the aim of supporting the process of transformation and EU integration. In November 2020 the CEI will celebrate the 31st anniversary of its foundation. There are 17 member states, of which 9 are EU member states, and the others are the Western Balkans countries and Eastern Partnership countries.