Regional Initiatives

Central European Initiative (CEI) 

CEI was founded in Budapest on 11 November 1989. As one of the oldest regional initiatives, it represents a regional, long-standing forum committed to and promoting European integration and sustainable development through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union, international and regional organisations as well as with other institutions and non-governmental organisations.

The Republic of North Macedonia has been a member of CEI since July 1993. In 2002 and 2015 the country assumed the CEI Presidency and organised a Summit of Heads of Governments (13-15 November 2002, Skopje) and meetings of ministers of foreign affairs, interior, culture and information and the media, as well as regular meetings of political directors and national coordinators. An Economic Forum and a Youth Forum were also held. 

Under the Macedonian Presidency of the Central European Initiative in 2015, emphasis was placed on affirming the advantages of the region (agricultural capacities, cultural heritage, tourism etc.) and especially on developing the necessary infrastructure (primarily energy and transport) as the key to the sustainable development of the region which contributes to the economic and security stability of Europe; A significant part was dedicated to the strengthening of business relations in CEI countries through the realisation of the 2015 Business Forum which concluded our Presidency. 

CEI’s main goal is to intensify the mutual cooperation among its member states – CEI has several funds: Cooperation Fund, Solidarity Fund, Know-How Transfer Fund and CEI Fund at EBRD. The CEI funds support projects submitted by public and non-governmental organisations of member states operating in the following areas: science and technology, cultural cooperation and media, minorities, education, environment and tourism. 

The organisation operates in a flexible manner to promote intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and business cooperation. The CEI Secretariat is based in Trieste.

South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP)

The South-East European Cooperation Process was initiated in 1996 in Sofia with the aim of transforming South-East Europe into a region of stability, security and cooperation. These goals are in line with the European integration trends by promoting joint dialogue and cooperation at all levels and in all areas of mutual interest. 

SEECP has a specific objective to facilitate faster rapprochement with the EU and NATO via strengthening good neighbourly relations and securing peace in the region. 

Full-fledged members of the Process include: North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Kosovo*.  

The Republic of North Macedonia is considered the founder, and from June 200-July 2001 as well as from June 2012-June 2013 the country held the SEECP Presidency. 

The 2001 Skopje Summit gained a strong economic dimension with the holding of the Economic Forum and the adoption of the Action Plan for Regional Economic Cooperation. The Action Plan is an action-oriented document and the cornerstone of further regional economic cooperation. 

The priorities of our SEECP Presidency from June 2012-June 2013 were: promotion of the principle of good neighbourliness; parliamentary cooperation between SEECP countries; stronger economic development and increased trade and foreign direct investments in SEE countries; protection and prevention of natural and human disasters; strengthening cooperation between local and regional authorities in the field of agriculture, migration, healthcare, science etc.; cross-border cooperation and regional connectivity; promotion of cultural and religious differences in SEE and cooperation in terms of defence with the purpose of achieving a level of development of defence capabilities in line with NATO standards. 

Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) 

The Regional Cooperation Council was officially launched at a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the SEECP in Sofia on 27 February 2008 as a follow-up of the Stability Pack for South Eastern Europe. 

Members of the RCC include 46 countries, SEECP participants, donor countries, several international financial institutions as well as the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the Council of Europe. The RCC Secretary General is Majlinda Bregu (Albania) with a 3-year term and she will be succeeded by the Montenegrin candidate, Igor Luksic.  

RCC’s main commitment is to assist the SEECP, monitor the regional activities and coordinate with other types of regional cooperation, mobilise donor capacities and contribute to the utilisation of European Instruments for Support and Development (IPA Programmes) and the development of the civil society in the SEE region. 

RCC focuses on the priority areas of economy and social development, energy and infrastructure, justice and interior affairs, security cooperation, human capital development, parliamentary cooperation as well as current issues such as migration, terrorism, connectivity, transport, culture etc. 

Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative 

Formed in 2003, and since 2004, MARRI functions through two mechanisms: the MARRI Regional Forum which provides political and framework support to the Initiative and the MARRI Regional Centre in Skopje which carries out practical cooperation and activities of MARRI and supports the implementation of decision reached by the Regional Forum. MARRI’s top priority is the enhancement of regional cooperation towards a comprehensive, integrated and coherent approach to issues of migration, asylum, border management; visa policies, refugee return and settlement in order meet international and European standards.

Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre -SELEC

SELEC’s goal is to provide, through competent authorities, support to Member States and to enhance the coordination in preventing and combating organised crime and cross-border cooperation. It is based in Bucharest.

SELEC’s tasks are: coordinating regional operations and supporting investigations and activities for preventing trans-border crime in Member States; exchanging information and intelligence and operational assistance in a quick and timely manner; gathering, analysing, processing and disseminating information and intelligence; providing strategic analysis and threat assessment; setting up, managing and maintaining a computerised information system. SELEC’s operational activities are carried out by eight working groups. 

South-Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN)

The Headquarters of the Secretariat of the South-Eastern Europe Health Network was opened on 07.03.2013 in Skopje. The purpose of the network is to strengthen the cooperation between the 10 Member States in developing public health, organising and implementing joint projects and cooperating at all levels of health and health services. 

The main purpose of the network is cooperation, as an integral part of developing good neighbourly relations, stability and prosperity and improving health care in the region through the implementation of national public health research projects. The network is supported by twelve donor partners (Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and five international organisations (WHO Regional Office for Europe, Council  of Europe  Development Bank, International Organisation for Migration, Regional Cooperation Council).

Western Balkan Fund

The Fund was established in 13 November 2015 in Prague at a meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Western Balkan countries (North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, BiH and Montenegro) and the Visegrad Group with the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Western Balkans Fund. WBF’s Secretariat is based in Tirana.

The main mission of the Fund is to promote: the development of closer cooperation between Western Balkan countries; strengthening the ties between Western Balkan countries; the integration of the contracting parties, Western Balkan countries into the European Union and their common presentation to third countries.

The objectives of the Fund are pursued through financial support of activities in any field which contributes to cross-border and inter-regional cooperation and to the strengthening of regional cohesion. 

Adriatic and Ionian Initiative – AII

The Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) was launched on 19 and 20 May 2000. The objective of the initiative is to strengthen regional cooperation and promote political and economic stability, thus creating a solid base for the process of European integration. The Permanent Secretariat was inaugurated in Ancona the 19th of June 2008 in order to strengthen the cooperation among the countries and to make the initiative more "project oriented". 

The Republic of North Macedonia became an AII member on 24.05.2018.

Last updated: 23 November 2020