Paolo Gentiloni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was in Dubrovnik to attend the ministerial meeting on the Ionian and Adriatic Initiative (IAI) / EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR).
Minister Gentiloni’s diplomatic mission falls within the scope of Italy’s staunch and constant action to reaffirm its role as a key partner of the Balkan Countries, also in the prospect of the Italian Presidency of the Berlin Process (the summit will be held in Italy in 2017); an assertive role that Italy is playing by leveraging all the regional cooperation instruments (EUSAIR, IAI, Trilateral meetings with Serbia and Albania, Central European Initiative - CEI).
The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) – which was launched on 18 November 2014 under the Italian Presidency of the European Council and spurred by the political impulse of Italy – aims at rationalising resources and sectorial policies by focusing on 4 common “Pillars”:
Ø fishing and blue economy;
Ø interconnectivity of infrastructures and electricity;
Ø the environment;
Ø tourism and culture.
Partners in EUSAIR, in addition to the EU Commission, are 8 Countries: 4 EU member Countries (Italy, Slovenia, Greece and Croatia) and 4 non-EU Countries (Albania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro).
The IAI/EUSAIR Ministerial Meeting held in Dubrovnik represents a strategic direction-setting opportunity for the EU Commission and the 8 partner Countries. The meeting was followed by the EUSAIR Forum, which will present the Strategy to the public and provide an opportunity to open a debate with the Region’s representatives of civil society and opinion makers.