In news- Lithuania recently announced that it is quitting the China-led “17+1” grouping by blaming the platform ‘divisive’ from the European Union’s perspective.
About 17+1 initiative-
- It is an initiative by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs founded in 2012 in Budapest.
- Its aim is to expand cooperation between Beijing and the 16 Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) member countries, with investments and trade for the development of European countries that are less developed as compared to the Western European states.
- The framework focuses on infrastructure projects such as bridges, motorways, railway lines and modernisation of ports in the member states.
- The initiative includes China, 12 EU member states and 5 Balkan states – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
- Its secretariat is in Beijing, with 17 “national coordinators” in each of the partner CEE countries.
- The 17+1 meets annually with the recent summit held in Dubrovnik (2019).