Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni will chair the conference for the launch in Brussels of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region adopted by the European Council of 23-24 October last. The culmination of a complex process that began in 2012, the Strategy’s adoption is one of the most significant results achieved in the course of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Facilitation of Western Balkans European integration
One of the Strategy’s strongpoints consists of the participation and joint efforts of 4 EU countries (Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Croatia) and 4 area non-members (Albania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro), not least with a view to spurring and facilitating the Western Balkans European integration.
The Strategy will offer a platform for increasing the efficiency of Community and national level interventions, rationalising resources and sector policies within a context of various forms of regional cooperation. The accent will be on strategic shared priorities such as infrastructure and energy connectivity, fishing and blue economy, environment, tourism and culture, innovation and research and capacity-building.
Gathering key players together
The event’s organiser is the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in cooperation with the European Commission, the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (whose rotating presidency is held this year by Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the Marche Region (as president of the Adriatic-Ionian Intergroup of the European Committee of the Regions). Its intention is to “gather together” the principal “key players” in the Strategy’s future implementation.
The Conference will feature a debate among the foreign ministers of the 8 participating countries on the challenges and opportunities offered by this new regional cooperation instrument.