In 2019 Belarus and Italy have plans to hold the first session of the joint commission for cooperation in science and technology and to announce a contest of sci-tech projects. The matter was discussed at the meeting of Chairman of Belarus’ State Science and Technology Committee Alexander Shumilin with Secretary General of the Central European Initiative (CEI) Roberto Antonione on 3 April, BelTA learned from the press service of the State Science and Technology Committee.
Belarus’ State Science and Technology Committee and the Central European Initiative expressed interest in intensifying cooperation, including within the framework of European Union programs, like Horizon 2020 and COST, and as part of scientific conferences. Alexander Shumilin reminded that in 2017, during Belarus’ presidency in CEI, Minsk hosted the CEI Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology ‘Biotechnology for Healthy and Active Life in CEI Region’. Taking part in the conference were over 80 delegates from Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and other countries. "We exchanged information on the current state and prospects of scientific research in the field of biotechnology in the CEI region. We discussed ideas and proposals that could be implemented in the region," he said.
In September Italy will host a regular ministerial conference on science. Belarus confirmed its participation in this event. Apart from that, according to the Italian side, this summer the parties are set to ratify the Belarus-Italy intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in science and technology as of 10 June 2011.
Established in 1989, CEI is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration and sustainable development through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union, international and regional organizations as well as with other public or private institutions and non-governmental organizations. Currently, CEI includes 17 states: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Belarus joined the initiative in 1996.
In 2019 Italy took over CEI presidency. Since January this year Roberto Antonione has been CEI Secretary General.