The XVI Conference of Presidents of Parliaments of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative took place in Budva on 18th-19th of March 2019.
The Conference has been attended by Presidents or Vice Presidents from the nine AII Participating Countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Aside from the host - President of the Montenegrin Parliament Mr Ivan Brajović and Prime Minister Mr Duško Marković, also Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srđan Darmanović, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović, Minister of Culture of Montenegro Aleksandar Bogdanović and AII Secretary General Amb. Giovanni Castellaneta took part in the event.
The Conference dealt with the following topics:
• Tourism and culture as a common denominator, advantage and strategic commitment of the AII states
• Parliamentary bodies as an important resource for strengthening cooperation in priority areas of the AII states
The adoption of the Joint Statement marked the end of the 16th Conference of Presidents/Speakers of Parliaments of the Adriatic & Ionian Initiative (AII). In their Joint Statement, parliaments of Participating Countries determine that cooperation of national parliaments within the AII is important for identifying regional projects, which should, among other things, support the Western Balkans integration in the EU. Parliaments provide support to the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, which represents a useful instrument of cooperation between the EU Member States and candidate countries and potential membership candidates. Participants in the Conference, as representatives of their parliaments, call for European institutions to strengthen their political and financial support to the implementation of strategic projects from the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.
The Statement also notes that the AII parliaments call for all national, regional and local authorities, private sector and the NGOs to continue to develop synergy between strategies of sustainable tourism and cultural sector. Participants point out the significance of improving infrastructure, which is essential for increasing accessibility and connectivity of the region and note the significance of security and safety for sustainable development of a tourism destination, and call for stronger cooperation and exchange of good practice among participating countries of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative.
The EUSAIR stakeholder platform is conceived as the most important tool of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) to increase stakeholder engagement, coordination and implementation process. The Platform is managed by Marche Region - Integrated Planning, International Activities, Trade and Cooperation Department - in the framework of the strategic project “Supporting the governance of the EUSAIR: Facility Point””.
Through the Stakeholder Platform stakeholders, project beneficiaries and interested public will have the opportunity to interact and cooperate with EUSAIR key implementers on issues concerning the Adriatic-Ionian Region, actively facilitating this dialogue.
More in details, the EUSAIR Stakeholder Platform is conceived as a virtual place that supports a two-way "vertical" communication flow between stakeholders and EUSAIR key implementers (GB and TSGs) and vice-versa, while, on the other side, it supports a “horizontal” communication among stakeholders (e.g. an on-line forum).
The Stakeholder Platform is addressed both to key implementers of the EUSAIR governance and to local, national and transnational stakeholders and it:
Please find here the link to the SP webpage http://esp.aimacroregion.eu/ and the link to the SP video tutorial on how to use it and subscribe to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_PsWFoKf9w&feature=youtu.be
The second AII Committee of Senior Officials under Montenegrin Chairmanship took place in Brussels on February 20 back-to-back with the first session of the 9th EUSAIR Governing Board.
After a brief report on the meeting of AII Troika plus Permanent Secretariat held in Tivat on February 7, AII Senior Officials discussed about the achievements of the Presidency up to now and the planned activities until the end of the Presidency in May.
The Montenegrin Chairmanship presented to the CSO a productive calendar of upcoming activities that foresees:
Further topics discussed were the next Adriatic and Ionian Council/EUSAIR Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting, which will be held in Budva on 6-8 of May 2019 and the preparation of the Budva Declaration.
The Chairmanship together with AII Secretary General Amb. Castellaneta also informed Senior Officials about the official request by the Republic of San Marino to join the AII.
The agreed minutes of the CSO will follow shortly.
The 9th Meeting of the EUSAIR Governing Board took place in Brussels on 20-21 February 2019.
This meeting was a milestone also because of the invitation of the Republic of North Macedonia, which was warmly welcomed by its neighbouring country Greece.
Regarding the core of the EUSAIR GB, the discussion on a follow-up of the Catania Declaration and the upcoming 4th EUSAIR Forum needs to be highlighted.
Launch of the 2nd ADRION call for Axes 1 and 3 was also announced by ADRION Programme together with the EUSAIR Stakeholder Platform by the Marche Region.
Furthermore, Amb. Castellaneta took the floor to report on the meeting of the CSO held the previous day and on the outcome of the Joint Conference – Fora of the Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities (16-18 October 2018, Split).
Further information regarding the EUSAIR GB can be found at the following link: https://www.adriatic-ionian.eu/2019/02/22/milestones-of-the-9th-eusair-governing-board-meeting/
The joint 4th Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) and 2nd Fora of the Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities will take place in Budva (Montenegro), on 7-8 May 2019, under the slogan “Integration for the people, development for the region”.
The EUSAIR Forum is organised by Montenegro in close cooperation with the European Commission and with the support of the EUSAIR Facility Point.
The traditional annual event aims to raise visibility of the EUSAIR and reflect on the progress made since the 3rd Forum held in Catania in May 2018.The Forum will be preceded by the Adriatic and Ionian Council/EUSAIR Ministerial Meeting (event reserved to Ministers and their delegations).
This year's Forum will focus on the topics related to the field of Tourism and Blue Growth.
The participants will also have the chance to discuss funding mechanisms for all four thematic pillars – Blue Growth, Connecting the Region, Environmental Quality, and Sustainable Tourism - of the EUSAIR and share concrete ideas on the future prospects of the Strategy.
Each year the Forum attracts numerous stakeholders, such as European Commission and other EU institutions, National ministries, Regional and Local authorities, Business sector, Academia and Civil society, who share views, exchange experience and discuss ways of cooperation.
Side thematic meetings and cultural and social events will complete the programme of the Forum.
A detailed programme as well as indications on programs and logistics for the meetings will follow shortly.
The event registration will be open soon.
The first “AII Troika plus AII Permanent Secretariat” meeting took place in Tivat (Montenegro) on February 7, 2019, organized by the AII Montenegrin Chairmanship.
During the working meeting, which saw the participation of representatives of past, present and future AII Chairmanships (Italy, Montenegro, Serbia) the following topics have been discussed:
- Information regarding recent events under the Montenegrin Presidency
- Calendar of the upcoming activities and organization of forthcoming events
- Adriatic and Ionian Council (Budva, 6-8 May)
- Preparation of Budva Declaration
- Ad hoc areas of cooperation (youth, anticorruption, migration)
- Strengthening cooperation with regional initiatives/organizations
Furthermore, the AII Permanent Secretariat together with the Montenegrin Chairmanship had the occasion to meet the Major of Tivat, Prof. Dr. Siniša Kusovac, which expressed his interest for the inclusion of the City of Tivat in the Forum of the Adriatic and Ionian Cities. The second Joint Conference of Civil Society Fora (Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities), which will be held in Budva on May 6-8, will be in this regard a great opportunity for the Municipality of Tivat to meet and discuss on the official joining of the Forum.