CEI is the oldest regional initiative in the area of Central and Eastern Europe. It has existed since 1989 and today it has 18 member states. Its member states are: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Since its establishment, the Central European Initiative has been aimed at fostering political, social and economic development in the region and avoiding formation of new division lines in Europe. In that regard, the CEI is oriented towards assisting in various ways to strengthen the capacities of non-member states of the EU, in order to consolidate their institutional and economic background and bring them closer to the EU.
The Central European Initiative consists of three functional structures, as follows:
· Governmental Dimension, which entails holding of the CEI Summit – the annual meeting of the heads of governments, holding of the economic forum, holding of the annual meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs, ministers of economy, and other ministerial meetings
· Parliamentary Dimension of CEI, as an additional parliamentary support to the goals of the Central European Initiative, and
· Business Dimension of CEI, where the chambers of foreign trade of member states cooperate.
In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of CEI PD, Permanent Delegation of the Parliament of Montenegro to the Parliamentary Dimension of the CEI consists of three members, their three substitutes, and a secretary of the Delegation.
The sessions of the parliamentary dimension are being held biannually, in autumn when the Parliamentary Assembly meeting is held, and in spring when the Parliamentary Committee meeting is held, while in between these sessions, meetings of the three General Committees (General Committee on Political and Home Affairs, General Committee on Economic Affairs, General Committee on Cultural Affairs) are also held occasionally, in accordance with the plans and initiatives of the chairs of these bodies.
The Parliament of Montenegro chaired the Parliamentary Dimension of the Central European Initiative in the period from 1 January 2010 until 1 January 2011. During that time, two parliamentary conferences were organised, covering topics such as the fight against organised crime and corruption, cross-border cooperation, as well as communication between parliaments and civil society.