The first AII Committee of Senior Officials under Serbian Chairmanship took place in Belgrade on October 21st back to back with the first session of the 10th EUSAIR Governing Board.

The AII Permanent Secretariat Programme of the Activities was presented together with the Priorities and indicative calendar of events of the Serbian Chairmanship (for the period 1 June 2019 – 31 May 2020) emphasizing the important connection and integration with the “EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region”, focusing on the interconnectivity sector (between the coastal areas and the hinterland of the Macroregion and vice-versa), on the dialogue with civil society and on responses to labour migration.

Particular focus has also been reserved to several key priorities: infrastructure connectivity, promotion of cooperation in the areas of culture and creative industries, sustainable tourism and youth exchange, but also protection of the environment, blue growth and cooperation in the fields of science and education.

Further topic discussed by Senior Officials was the report on the meeting of the Fora of Civil Society (Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities) plus the AII permanent Secretariat with the AII Serbian Chairmanship held in Belgrade on September 4th. AII Senior Advisor, Amb. Pigliapoco, highlighted that it was the first time in the AII history that a new Chairmaship in office met the Fora of Civil Society at its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meetings demonstrated a growing awarness of the role and the contribution that the Civil Society is increasingly bringing – also through their involvement in the AII Round Tables - to the EUSAIR Strategy process.

The AII Secretary General also informed Senior Officials about the AII 20th Anniversary Celebrations. Amb. Castellaneta recalled that next year (2020) the 20th Anniversary of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative and of the Charter of Ancona (signed on May 2000), which has represented a watershed after a period of difficult conflicts and crisis in the area, will take place. The aim of the celebrations is not only to recall the successes of the past, but also posing the accent on the future of the Initiative, on the interest that it continues to arise and on its "attractiveness", as demonstrated in recent years by the inclusion of new Participating Countries.

The agreed minutes of the CSO will follow shortly.