Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

About the Central European Initiative (CEI)


The European scene shows a a great variety of multilateral regional co-operations. The Central European Initiative is the oldest and largest of sub-regional co-operation initiatives that emerged in Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the communist system. Founded by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Yugoslavia in 1989, as quadrilateral co-operation, it has to date a membership of 17 countries.

The CEI has established an integrated framework of dialogue, co-ordination and co-operation among and between its member countries in the political, economic, cultural and parliamentary fields, creating, thereby, an atmosphere of mutual understanding in which national projects and transnational programmes are being discussed, planned, studied and implemented.

The CEI has an institutional link with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) , where a CEI trust fund is in progress since 1996. Through this link, both, the EBRD and the CEI are longstanding members of the LEED Programme .

Several joint activities have been carried out over the last years. For instance, the participation of the LEED Programme in the annual CEI Summit Economic Forum has been an asset for LEED's work especially in SEE and CEE countries. In 2005, the Eighth CEI Summit Economic Forum's main theme was "Reforms key to Competitiveness".

Another important joint project launched in 2003 is the creation of the CEI-LEED Local Development Network of Advisors . This Network is hosted by the LEED Trento Centre for Local Development and it formalises the first common permanent CEI-LEED initiative and structure.

For more information, please contact Ms Ekaterina Travkina from the LEED Programme Secretariat, or contact the CEI directly at:

  • Trieste Office at the CEI Headquarters
    Via Genova, 9 - 34121 Trieste, Italy
    Tel +39 040 7786744 - Fax +39 040 7786766
    E mail: [email protected]
    Home page:
  • London Office at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
    One Exchange Square, London EC2A 2JN - UK
    Tel +44 20 7338 7471 - Fax +44 20 7338 6538
    E mail: [email protected]
    Home page: