The Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) Permanent Secretariat and the Central European Initiative CEI - Executive Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the framework of the Adriatic and Ionian Council. The Ceremony took place on May 8th in Budva, where AII Secretary General Giovanni Castellaneta and CEI Secretary General Roberto Antonione signed the agreement for a shared action for their regions.

The signature seals a strong long-standing partnership and contributes to fostering regional cooperation and sustainable development. The MoU is a step forward for a joint preparation and implementation of activities as well as an exchange of expertise and skills in project management in areas of common interest to the benefit of the citizens.

AII SG Castellaneta stated that there is room for synergies and for exchanging information and experiences between the two intergovernmental / multilateral initiatives. “Two regional organizations which clearly share the same objectives, namely to facilitate the integration process and to promote economic growth and prosperity in the region through concrete cooperation activities”.

“We aim at fostering projects targeting activities in the field of Blue Growth, connectivity, environmental protection, sustainable tourism as well as those aimed at improving research and innovation systems, culture and education in our regions", said CEI Secretary General Antonione.

Each Party will appoint a contact person responsible for managing the implementation of the MoU, liaising and facilitating information flows on joint actions and common activities.

On May 30-31, Ancona (Italy) will be hosting the fourth edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – cruise, ferry, sail & yacht, the itinerant international event dedicated to maritime tourism and developed by Risposte Turismo, consulting and research company operating in the field of the tourism macro-industry, this year in partnership with Central Adriatic Ports Authority. The Adriatic and Ionian Initiative is a supporting organization of the event.

Numerous round tables and over 200 operators are expected to attend the two-day opportunity for discussion, business networking and an in-depth study of the cruise, ferry and nautical sector.

The Forum’s objective is to discuss the future progress of maritime tourism in the Adriatic, facilitating the development of new collaborative projects and creating opportunities for all the stakeholders in the cruise, ferry and nautical (sail&yacht) sectors that operate in the Adriatic area and who will meet together and network.

Some of the topics to be discussed at the round tables include sharing choices and actions that could accelerate the growth of the Adriatic Sea through maritime tourism, the intervention and investment priorities that the area's port authorities identify, with reference to various aspects of passenger traffic, the possibility of pursuing economic growth and environmental protection, the important consequences for the territories generated by mega yacht tourism, the competitiveness of ferries in a modified framework availability of mobility and transport, and novelties that could characterize the cruise industry in the near future.

The event will also allow all participants to keep up-to-date with the European programmes dedicated to the area and with the EUSAIR strategy five years after its launch; to learn more about the characteristics, demands and expectations of customers interested in the possibilities for tourism in the Adriatic; to learn about situations outside the Adriatic area that have excelled in maritime tourism.

Attending Adriatic Sea Forum offers the chance:

- to get and stay in touch with the operators who work in Adriatic maritime and tourism industries as a whole, whether they are actually based in the countries that look onto the Adriatic or not;

- to establish contacts with important administrators and decision makers;

- to attend conference sessions and also have enough time for business meetings;

- to create new business relationships and strengthen the existing ones; for participants to each present their own projects and activities, results and perspectives;

- to acquire the latest data and information on maritime tourism in the Adriatic area.

Please find here a Forum brochure (including the programme) and a press release.

For further information and registration visit the official website of the event:

The Round Table on Transports, organized by the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs with the support of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative Permanent Secretariat, took place in Budva on April 24th within the framework of the Montenegrin AII Chairmanship.

The focus of the Round Table was on the connectivity of the ports and monitoring of maritime traffic, including the development of the traffic network between ports in the Adriatic-Ionian region, as well as on the improvement of port infrastructures and services.

The Director General of the Ministry of Transports and Maritime Affairs (Directorate for the Maritime Economy), Maja Mijišković pointed out that "as President of the AII, Montenegro intends to continue to promote good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation in order to further promote the development and growth of this region through the strengthened role of the AII and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region. Also, one of the goals of Montenegro's Presidency of the AII is to focus on promoting joint activities in the maritime economy and maritime traffic”. Furthermore, she emphasized that the Adriatic and Ionian Sea is among one of the largest natural, economic and developmental resources, and it has the potential for the valorisation and promotion of common values ​​of the countries that surround it.

The Round Table was an opportunity to exchange experiences and best practises on Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System (VTMIS), Port State Control, pollution prevention and emergency response, cruise and nautical tourism development, port management and freight forwarding, port services, but also for disseminating European projects connected to these topics.

Filippo Alabardi from the AII Permanent Secretariat stressed that the Adriatic Ionian region has a great potential to further develop the ports connections and maritime traffic, thus benefiting a wide range of stakeholders in the area.

Director General for Maritime Affairs, Vladan Radonjić pointed out that today Montenegro is in a much better situation compared to five years ago, when the country did not have such a developed and high quality navigation systems, implementing also numerous international conventions on the topic. "We can rightly say that we belong to the European family when it comes to the achievements in navigation safety, ports security and the protection of the sea from pollution" Radonjić emphasized.

The Budva Declaration has been adopted on the 8th of May 2019 by the high-level political representatives of the AII/EUSAIR participating countries at the Adriatic Ionian Council / EUSAIR Ministerial meeting.

More information will follow shortly.

Please find here the declaration.


The Round table on the importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation for the protection of the marine environment and effective implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (MSP) organized by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, was held on April 24 at Ramada Hotel in Podgorica.

The Round table was organized in the framework of the Montenegrin Chairmanship of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative with the aim of sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices in the field of marine environment preservation and marine spatial planning, emphasizing the importance of subregional and regional cooperation for the effective implementation of European legislation in this field. Such expert dialogue and exchange were organized in order to contribute to the establishment of a more strengthened cooperation and more efficient application of planning and management tools in coastal and marine areas in the Adriatic-Ionian region.

After the opening remarks by the representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, expert presentations followed on the topics related to interlinkages between Mediterranean, regional initiatives and the European Agenda in the field of the marine environment protection, national experiences on the integrated coastal zone management, importance of marine protected areas for the sustainable coastal zone management as well as of the and data on these marine areas for MSP, including importance of the work and reactivation of the Commission for the Protection of the Adriatic Sea and coastal areas were held by experts from Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

At the Round table, besides the representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and experts from the Adriatic-Ionian region, representatives of relevant ministries, coastal municipalities and national institutions involved in the implementation of regional, European and global initiatives for protection of the marine and coastal environment (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Agency for Nature and Environment Protection, Institute of Marine Biology, Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology, Public enterprize for coastal zone management, Maritime Safety Department, Center for Ecotoxicological Research) including NGO sector, as well as independent experts.

Participants of the meeting were also informed and invited to the upcoming 4th Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR FORUM) and the 2nd Joint Conference of the Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities of the Adriatic-Ionian Region which will be held 7-8 May 2019 in Hotel Splendid, Budva. Registration and additional information for these two events are available through the link: