The Centre for European Perspective (CEP) is an independent and non-profit organisation working on issues of peace, security, and socio-economic development and prosperity. Established by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on 8 July 2004 as the Centre for the European Integration Support, it underwent a change of name following the decision of the Slovene Government on 26 April 2006; the new name better corresponds to the scope of CEP’s activities. CEP was officially inaugurated on 23 May 2006, while the work of the Centre dates back to March of the same year. The Centre received a monetary donation from Slovene Government for its work. However financial resources are also welcomed and sought from other national and international sources.
The main mission of CEP is to play an active role in promoting European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes by drawing on the expertise of Slovene public and private sector and by engaging experts from across the EU. To this end it works with: (i) EU Candidate Countries; (ii) EU Potential Candidates Countries; and (iii) New Neighbourhood Policy Countries.
The geographical scope of CEP encompasses South East Europe ie the Balkans, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The first priority for 2006-2008 is the Balkan region.
Activities of the Centre are focused on conceptual, technical and financial assistance in multidisciplinary areas between Slovenia, EU member countries and countries with a European perspective. This assistance takes the form of tailor-made educational and training programmes, study visits, workshops, round tables, conferences, research and analysis that will empower its partners in their European or Atlantic integration processes. Project activities are designed on the Centre’s own initiative or upon requests from partner or target countries and, among other issues, aim at promoting and implementing activities that foster positive dialogue between countries, cultures and peoples. CEP also plays a supporting role in preparing analyses and developing strategic policy recommendations on a range of foreign policy and topical international issues, especially before and during the Slovene EU Presidency in the first half of 2008. Current and future activities of the Centre are designed to be implemented together with its partner and target countries and with the close co-operation of national and international institutions and bodies.
Key areas of work include: Enlargement; Capacity building; Institutional enhancement; Economic growth; Social development; and Human rights.
CEP’s structure comprises three different segments. The core of the Centre’s work is organised and implemented through the Executive Director, Programme Director, Administrative Director and the Centre’s employees. The other two segments of CEP’s structure are the Executive Board and the Advisory Board.
The Executive Board of the Centre for European Perspective has four members: The President of the Executive Board is Professor Dr Dimitrij Rupel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, while its members are Mr Janez Lenarčič, State Secretary for European Affairs, Dr Andrej Rahten, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, and Ms Maša Žiftar, Personal Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Advisory Board of CEP has 12 members: The current Chairperson of the Advisory Board is Mr Jan Petersen, former Norwegian Foreign Minister and a member of the Norwegian Parliament. The other members are former Italian Prime Minister and current Minister of the Interior Mr Giuliano Amato, contemporary historian and political writer Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Mr Erhard Busek, former adviser to President of the United States, Mr Zbigniew Brzezinski, former German Foreign Minister, Mr Hans-Dietrich Genscher, US Senator Mr Tom Harkin, former US ambassador and political adviser Mr Victor Jackovich, Secretary General of the United Nations Mr Ban Ki-moon, former Estonian Foreign Minister and member of the Estonian Parliament Ms Kristiina Ojuland, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union Mr Javier Solana, former Foreign Minister of Serbia and Montenegro Mr Goran Svilanović, Ambassador and Director of Foreign Policy Platform Mr Murat Bilhan and Mr Zhang Deguang, former Secretary General of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China.
The Centre for European Perspective has its seat at Jablje Castle near Ljubljana, which was renovated in 2004. Much of CEP’s activity will take place in the castle.