The Ministerial Conference on strengthening the regional and Adriatic-Ionian cross cooperation in the field of youth, organized by the Ministry of Sport and Youth, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, within the framework of the AII Montenegrin Chairmanship, took place in Budva on April 4-5, 2019.

For the first time, the Conference gathered ​​youth policy representatives from AII Participating Countries, with the aim of intensifying cooperation in the above-mentioned area, bringing together more than 50 representatives of the countries of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, international and regional organizations, domestic institutions and non-governmental organizations.

The meeting has been opened by the Ministry of Sport and Youth, Nikola Janović, which underlined how the AII promotes economic and social growth in the region, as well as European integration of the Western Balkans. "Through close cooperation with the countries of the region as well as Member States of the European Union, Montenegro actively participates in the definition of priorities that are important for the entire Adriatic-Ionian region. In all areas of common interest at regional level, it is necessary to work diligently and consciously to improve the conditions and create opportunities for young people", Janović said.

Ambassador Maryse Daviet, Head of the OSCE Mission in Montenegro further emphasized that the OSCE recognizes the importance of working with young people and the very important role they play in building a peaceful and secure environment.

"The Montenegrin chairmanship of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative has been very successful, and I would like to congratulate you on the efforts you are making in developing partnerships with all the countries of the region," said Ambassador Fabio Pigliapoco, AII Senior Advisor.
An event which has further underlined how enhancing sustainable regional cooperation amongst youth, and establishing new relations amongst young people in the Adriatic and Ionian area, by fostering reconciliation and by promoting the European spirit of cooperation, understanding, and tolerance, is pivotal to give a brighter future to the Adriatic and Ionian Macroregion.

Minister Janović concluded that this event has been an opportunity to discuss key challenges and achieved results, as well as to exchange experiences among the countries of the region regarding the improvement of the position of young people.