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President of the Republic of Slovenia: “The transformation of the Centre of Excellence in Finance into an international organisation represents a significant support for Southeast Europe’s regional development”

Bled, 3. 9. 2013 | press release, speech

On the margins of the Bled Strategic Forum, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today attended the signing of the agreement to reorganise the Centre for Excellence in Finance as an international organisation based in Slovenia. In his address, he stressed that Slovenia was very proud of the past achievements of the Centre, which, following its reorganisation as an international organisation, would become the leading training institution in the field of public finance and central banking for the following member countries: Bulgaria, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia.

The reorganisation will ensure the further development of the institution and improvement in the quality of training programmes for receiving countries, which are co-financed by Slovenia. It will also increase the opportunities for donor financing and for being awarded projects by international organisations. “The transfer of knowledge and experiences in the process of fiscal reform to other countries in the region will also enhance Slovenia’s reputation and international visibility,” said President Pahor and concluded by thanking the representatives of all countries that are signatories to the agreement and the donor countries and wishing the Centre of Excellence in Finance every success in the fulfilment of its mission as an international organisation in the future.

President Pahor also held several bilateral talks on the margins of the second day of the Bled Strategic Forum. Among others, he met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Dr Miroslav Lajčák, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Philip Reeker, and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Preenet Kaur.

On the margins of the Bled Strategic Forum, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today attended the signing of the agreement to reorganise the Centre for Excellence in Finance as an international organisation based in Slovenia.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Address by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, on the signing of the agreement to reorganise the Centre for Excellence in Finance as an international organisation:

Dear Ministers, Governors, distinguished guests,
It is my honor and privilege to host you today on the occasion of signing the Agreement on stablishing the Center of Excellence in Finance as an International Organization. Slovenia is proud to be recognized as a regional center for transfer of knowledge in the area of good governance and is honored to host this future new born international organization. We are extremely proud of the achievements of the Center of Excellence in Finance. With extensive knowledge of the region’s learning needs, the Center today is a leading learning institution for capacity development in public financial management and central banking in the region of South East Europe.

It was established by the Government of Slovenia in 2001 within the framework of the Stability Pact for South East Europe to promote awareness of international standards and best practice in public financial management and central banking. In its 12 years of operations and more than 10.000 participants from South East Europe, the Center has been accomplishing this mission by organizing specialized learning events, encouraging knowledge sharing and research, and providing technical assistance.

Just two months ago I hosted presidents of Western Balkan countries in the context of Brdo Process through which we are enhancing regional cooperation on political and practical level as a driver for stability, economic development in an effort to join the European Union. We do that by supporting each other through exchange of experience gained during the integration processes. And this is exactly what the Center together with its members and partners has been accomplishing in the last 12 years.

The changing of the status of the Center of Excellence in Finance to an international organization is an important further step of Slovenia’s support of regional cooperation in South East Europe. The activities of the Center are also in line with the last year's EU support for sustainable change in transition societies. Slovenia and other countries have already invested their prestige and very concrete efforts in confirmation of its conclusions and the change of legal status is another step in their practical implementation. I am sure that as an international organization, the ambition to grow will be complemented by increased funding opportunities for its projects and programs. The Center of Excellence in Finance already has succesful track record, knowledge of the region as well as a network and infrastructure in place to support region-wide capacity development initiatives.

Dear Ministers, Governors, distingushed guests,

I would like to thank to all members of the Center of Excellence in Finance - the ones joining the agreement as founding members and the ones that may wish to join the agreement at a later stage. It is the strong political commitment of your governments that helped steer the way to establishing this international organization. I would also like to thank to all donors and partners supporting the Center of Excellence in
Finance and the region – your presence here today reflects your backing and commitment to this institution and its efforts. I am convinced that you all will continue to back the Center of Excellence in Finance in the
future to enable it grow and promote its name-sake - EXCELLENCE. Congratulations to all the countries and ministers signing the agreement here today. Let me also invite other members, donor countries and international orgaizations to follow suit.

Last but not least, congratulations to the Center of Excellence in Finance, whom I wish all the success in implementing its mission as an international organization.