The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) recently published its annual policy brief, listing the legislative priorities the group is focusing its advocacy efforts on this year. Highlights include upholding current sanctions against Russia for its occupation of Ukraine and enacting new sanctions in the wake of interference in U.S. elections last year (now on the President’s desk); ensuring State Department funding remains sufficient to conduct effective diplomacy and continue support to our non-NATO partners; expanding the Visa Waiver Program to include Poland; and closely monitoring Russia’s large-scale Zapad exercise in September for indications that the Kremlin may expand its military aggression into new areas. The full paper is available at ceecoalition.us.
CEEC members are currently conducting meetings with the offices of House Foreign Relations Committee (HFAC) members to share the policy brief and hear their views on the progress of the group’s top priorities. Office calls have been held
with eight HFAC offices so far. Senate Foreign Relations Committee offices will also be targeted.
The CEEC was established in 1994 and is composed of eighteen national, membership-based organizations representing Americans of Armenian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, and Ukrainian descent. It was established to coordinate the efforts of ethnic organizations whose members continue to maintain strong cultural, economic, political, and religious ties to the countries of Central and East Europe and serves as a liaison with these national Central and East European ethnic organizations. These organizations cooperate in calling attention to issues of mutual concern, especially regarding United States policy toward Central and East Europe. It has cooperated on a wide range of issues including calling attention to Russia’s policies toward its neighbors, NATO enlargement, and U.S. assistance programs for the region. EANC has been an active member since the coalition’s inception.