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 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:

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.

In the framework of the AII Montenegro Chairmanship, on the 16th and 17th of April took place in Budva the ad hoc Round Table on “Strengthening integrity in State Authorities and Electoral Processes in AII Countries”, organized by Agency for Prevention of Corruption (ASK) of Montenegro with the support of the US Embassy in Podgorica.

All AII Countries were duly represented, which denotes the raising awareness of the contemporary society in the AII Countries on this sensitive issue.

The introductory remarks have been delivered by Mr. Sreten Radonjić, Director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (please find here the speech in original language), Ms. Marijana Laković-Drasković, Director General for Organization of Judiciary, Criminal Legislation and Supervision - Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, and Ms. Goranka Vučinić, President of the Council of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption.

The ad hoc Round Table offered experts belonging to national independent authorities dedicated to the prevention of corruption, the opportunity to share experiences, methodologies, solutions on corruption risk assessment and management, in corruption prevention and treatment in the frame of their respective legislations. The meeting resulted to be a very constructive exchange of ideas on common challenges such as National Integrity Plans, transparency as well as training and capacity building.

On the second day, experts discussed about the control of financing of political entities and election campaigns, which is another very important topic and delicate matter.

They also reported national experiences from Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, highlighting the importance of data collection, reports, adoption of new technologies and IT solutions in order to tackle and deal with such an important issue.

Furthermore, the prevention of corruption assumes a certain importance for AII countries, which are not yet part of the European Union, considering that anti-corruption policies are part of the negotiations in order to access to the EU.

Ultimately, the message arising from the meeting was that integrity, transparency and combating corruption must be part of the everyday culture and become fundamental values to be achieved.


Thematic session I (part I): Corruption risk assessment – Integrity plans

Marko Skerovic - MONTENEGRO

Laura Valli - ITALY

Rovena Pregja - ALBANIA

Marijana Obradović - SERBIA

Vita Habjan Barborič - SLOVENIA

Thematic session I (part II): Corruption risk assessment – IT solutions

IT platforms as a tool for the efficient corruption risk assessment

Miloš Vujosevic - MONTENGRO

Thematic session I (part III): Corruption risk assessment – Corruption proofing of legislation

Dalibor Saban - MONTENEGRO

Thematic session II: Control of financing of political entities and electoral campaigns

Dusan Drakic - MONTENEGRO

Stylianos Michalas - GREECE

Katarina Pavičić - SERBIA

The AII Round Table on Tourism and Culture took place in Podgorica on April 4, organized by the AII Montenegrin Chairmanship in cooperation with the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro.

Within the framework of the Round Table, two panels were held, during which representatives of the public and private sectors presented the importance of cultural tourism for tourist destinations and its further development. On the panel entitled "Interdependence of Tourism and Culture in the Adriatic-Ionian Region", participants discussed about the Cultural Tourism Development Program, the impact of digital technologies, as well as story telling models in the interpretation of heritage along cultural and tourist routes. Likewise, the socio-economic impact of cultural tourism on local communities and the improvement of tourism statistics in the field of cultural tourism at regional level were discussed during the panel.  

On the second panel entitled “Cultural tourism in relation to UNESCO World Heritage Site“a case study "Stećci - medieval tombstones" was presented. This is a case of regional cooperation among four countries, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which together classified sculpted, medieval tombstones to the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

According to the regulations of the AII Round Tables overhauled in 2015, the results of the Round Table have been transferred to the 10th Thematic Steering Groups 4 on Sustainable Tourism, which was held back to back with the AII Round Table. In this regard, showing the strong connection between AII Round Tables and EUSAIR TSGs, Blanka Belošević, Coordinator of EUSAIR Pillar 4, took the floor in order to underline this important link.

Please find here the Agenda of the event.