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CEI Member States take part in teleconference Summit: In solidarity and close cooperation to overcome socio-economic consequences of novel coronavirus pandemic

CEI Member States take part in teleconference Summit: In solidarity and close cooperation to overcome socio-economic consequences of novel coronavirus pandemic
Published date 15.05.2020 18:31 | Author PR Service

Ispis Print

Podgorica, Montenegro (15 May 2020) -- The Central European Initiative (CEI) Member States agreed earlier today at the teleconference summit, chaired by Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković, to closely cooperate and show solidarity in efforts to eliminate the socio-economic consequences of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"We agree that emergency measures must be strictly in line with the current health crisis, well-coordinated, proportionate, transparent and must always respect the fundamental rights of each individual," the adopted Joint Statement, inter alia, reads.

The Member States of the oldest European regional initiative found that the serious socio-economic consequences of the novel coronavirus pandemic require unusual measures with determination, unity and solidarity. "We commit to focus on improving socio-economic performances, a favourable environment for business and investment, so that our economies can recover more rapid by strengthening trade and the smooth flow of goods, boosting connections and by attracting more foreign investment and tourism. We reiterate that cooperation, trust and solidarity are the most effective responses to this pandemic. Highlighting that respect for international law remains our guiding principle, we are determined to respond decisively, in an innovative way and jointly, especially through strong partnerships, with the aim to tackle the socio-economic challenges that COVID-19 poses to our region," the Joint Statement reads. 

The efforts of the CEI and other regional and international organizations are encouraged to provide a coherent and coordinated response to the wider implications of the different dimensions of the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The CEI countries welcomed the mobilisation and redistribution of over EUR seven billion through various European Union instruments, to support the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries in addressing the immediate health and humanitarian needs due to a pandemic outbreak and assisting to limit the negative economic consequences of the pandemic.

In addition to Chairman Prime Minister Duško Marković, the Summit that was organised via teleconference by Montenegro, as the current state chairing the Initiative, was also attended by Prime Ministers of Albania Edi Rama, Bulgaria's Boyko Borissov, Croatia's Andrej Plenković, Moldova's Ion Chicu, North Macedonia's Oliver Spasovski and Ukraine's Denys Shmyhal, as well as senior officials from other CEI Member States. European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, Director of the World Health Organization for Europe Hans Kluge and President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Suma Chakrabarti took part as special guests.

Prime Minister Marković presented the results of the measures that the Government of Montenegro adopted to protect the health and lives of all citizens and stated that our country did not forget the solidarity both at regional level and beyond. 

"Fortunately, the negative trends are declining in all our countries today. The effort to revive all spheres of life is growing at the same time. Of course, with the necessary caution due to a possible new wave of infection. That encouraged us to organise the Summit now, to exchange experiences, anticipate problems and act proactively through the regional and multilateral cooperation," the Prime Minister of Montenegro pointed out.

Prime Minister Duško Marković emphasised that our country has already taken the first steps towards normalising life and preparing the tourist season, and appealed for the normalization process to be entered in a synchronised manner.

"Montenegro has already opened its border at sea for nautical tourism and we believe, especially bearing in mind the expectation that we will be a destination without the coronavirus, that the conditions for the tourist season to come to life will be created soon. Respecting all our efforts so far to preserve public health, I believe that we agree that we must carefully and synchronously step into this process, with the complementarity of national measures with those at the regional and European level. Therefore, I believe that it is extremely important to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the areas of health, customs, transport and to provide harmonised measures to control, prevent the spread of virus and manage border crossings. The recently presented EC guidelines on the gradual continuation of tourism, transport and related activities are a useful signpost for all of us and a proof on the need for a harmonised approach, so the return of tourism and connectivity appear as quickly and safely as possible," Prime Minister Duško Marković said.