The Representatives of the Governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, meeting in Ioannina, Greece, with the participation of a representative of the European Commission, in the framework of the 2nd Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) have adopted the Ioannina Declaration (enclosed to this article).

The AII Permanent Secretariat attended the Round Table on Inter-University Cooperation – Smart Specialization Strategies and Cooperation Programs towards Macroregional Integration, which took place in Patras, Greece on the 8th of April 2017, organized by the AII Hellenic Chairmanship together with UNIADRION.

During the Round Table the following thematic topics have been discussed and debated:

  1. Implementation of Smart Specialization Strategies and Cooperation Programs. A key issue for macro-regional integration
  2. Synergies of University associations, research centres, chambers of commerce and enterprises, towards the development of Macroregional real economy
  3. Education, Research, Innovation, Transnational and Interregional cooperation as a life improving promoters and socio-economic developers of Macroregion.

In line with the provisions of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative Declarations of Ministers, affirming the importance of fostering synergy, coordination, complementarity and cooperation with other regional organizations, H.E. Ambassador Fabio Pigliapoco, AII Secretary General, attended the 11th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean on the 23rd and 24th of February 2017.

The conference, organized by the Republic of Portugal and held in Porto, focused on priority issues for the Mediterranean area such as the ongoing crises and security challenges in the region, terrorism and extremism, but also on economic cooperation and trade, climate change, protection of civilians, the Mediterranean cultural heritage and the promotion of human rights.

The AII Round Table on Environmental and Civil Protection took place in Athens (Greece) on the 21st of March 2017.

The Round Table was divided in two sessions: Environmental Protection and Civil Protection.

During the first session, organized by the General Secretariat of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy, participants discussed about:

  • The global, regional and sub-regional dimension of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): delivering the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025;
  • The Mediterranean Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and its Action Plan: an integrated framework for applying the ESD commitments of the countries of the region, including the ESD provisions of the SDGs;
  • Training on Sustainable Growth;
  • The implementation of the Maritime Spatial Planning
  • The ADRIONet project, Network of marine and coastal protected areas in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.

During the second sessions on Civil Protection, organized by the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, the main topics discussed, were:

  • the Greek national forest fires risk map,
  • the Union Civil Protection mechanism (for the refugee crisis),
  • problems connected to forest fires and smoke impacts, especially focusing on vulnerable groups
  • the use of social media to raise public awareness concerning these issues

According to the regulations of the AII Round Tables overhauled in 2015, the results of the Round Table will be transferred to the Thematic Steering Groups concerned.

Today, the AII Secretary General, Amb. Pigliapoco, attended the Summit of the Central European Initiative in Sarajevo.

The conference hosted by the Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Denis Zvidic, was focused on the migration and refugee crisis and on strengthening infrastructural connectivity in the area.

In his intervention, Amb. Pigliapoco outlined the role of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative concerning the domains chosen by the CEI Chairmanship underlying also that they are key priority also for the "EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region".

Concluding he informed about plans of stricter cooperation between AII and CEI that will possibly be achieved through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in the near future.