On 18 September 1995, an informal meeting took place between Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner responsible for the Environment, and the Environment Ministers of the Associated Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC). The meeting, the first of its kind, was organized at the initiative of Ms. Bjerregaard. It was also attended by Ms. Narbona, Spanish Secretary of State, representing the EU Presidency and Mr. H. Van den Broek, Member of the Commission responsible for external relations with Central and Eastern European Countries. Main topics of the meeting were; - The follow-up to the meeting, held in October 1994, between the EU Environment Council and Environment Ministers of the CEEC; - The pre-accession strategy with regard to the environmental field following the Essen European Council of December 1994; - The pan-European Conference of Environment Ministers scheduled for 23-25 October 1995 in Sofia (Bulgaria). In this respect, this meeting was particularly timely and provided an opportunity for harmonizing points of view. It also paved the way for closer environmental cooperation between the EU and the CEEC in the near future.