'Trieste Contemporanea. Dialogues with the Art of Central Eastern Europe' is a committee created in June 1995 with the objective of bringing out the role of Trieste as a hinge between Western Europe, the countries of Eastern Europe and the countries of the Mediterranean area for the creation in Trieste of an observatory on the contemporary situation of art and culture in Central-Eastern Europe. The Trieste Contemporanea Committee runs its activity through collaborations, co-productions and exchanges on an international level. Initiatives dedicated to visual art, music, cinema, literature, multimediality, theatre, architecture and design have been held in Trieste and abroad.
The focal points of the activity of the Committee can be considered to be the 'Trieste Contemporanea International Design Contest' a biennial event that now attracts the interest of designers from 23 European countries, and the 'CEI Venice Forum for Contemporary Art Curators', another biennial event that deals with the topics of cultural promotion and the exchange of curatorial experiences in occasion of the opening of the Venice Biennale. Both initiatives are carried out under the auspices of the CEI- Central European Initiative. A specific attention is also given to the promotion of young artists through the biennial activities 'Young European Artist Trieste Contemporanea Award' and 'Squeeze it contest'.
Starting from 2003 Trieste Contemporanea proposed to a number of institutions and museums from Central-Eastern Europe the co-production of the international project "Continental Breakfast" (CB) of which, presently, the Trieste Committee is project-leader and institutions from Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey are members. The Committee is recognised as 'cultural body of regional interest' by the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia.