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First meeting of the Steering Committee, Sofia, January 30th, 2018

After signing the Declaration of Intent at CERN, a Steering Committee has been formed, which will play a leading role in decision-making about all future scientific and political steps necessary for the implementation of the project of international institute in South East Europe. The first meeting of the Steering Committee was held on 30 January in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Before the meeting, the members of the Steering Committee were hosted by the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rumen Radev, who has expressed full support and emphasized the importance of the project for the entire region, commending the efforts made so far towards its implementation. In addition, President Radev used the opportunity to reflect on the Scientific Forum that was held in Trieste last week, which he considered to be a great success in the context of the implementation of the regional project.

As the Acting Chairperson of the Steering Committee, the Minister of Science Dr. Sanja Damjanović thanked President Radev for the reception, and especially for the support that is very important at the moment bearing in mind that Bulgaria is presiding over the European Union. Also, the Minister familiarized the President with significant steps taken during 2017.

Professor Herwig Schopper, a special guest and observer in the Steering Committee meeting, also addressed President Radev, sharing his experience regarding the implementation of a similar SESAME project in Jordan. Professor Schopper has pointed out that it is the right time for the implementation of a major scientific-technological project in South East Europe, which is currently in the political focus of the European Union.

All members of the Steering Committee individually emphasized the importance of implementing such a project, which would undoubtedly be the driver of the overall, economic, social and political development of the region.
Following the reception, the Rules of Procedures of the Steering Committee have been adopted at its meeting, and the future activities and necessary steps have been considered in the context of the implementation of the project.

The Minister of Science of Montenegro Dr. Sanja Damjanović was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Steering Committee, with a term of office of two years.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the signatories to the Declaration of Intent, as well as a representative of the Republic of Croatia, which will also sign the Declaration in the meantime.

During her stay in Sofia, the Minister of Science also met with the Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria Mr. Krasimir Valchev, who praised the efforts made and expressed full support to the project.

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