The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincenzo Amendola, went on a mission in Catania to chair the Ministerial Meeting of the Adriatic- Ionian Initiative (AII) and the European Strategy of the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR). On the same occasion, he also opened the EUSAIR Third Forum of Civil Society.
"Italy has placed a high priority on a concrete and fruitful regional cooperation. It is a vision that has always informed our common work to the benefit of our citizens," said Undersecretary Amendola referring to the Italian Chairmanship. He went on to say: "As of today, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has joined the AII. We are very glad that the dialogue Italy has promoted, with the support of all participating Countries, has been successful."
Undersecretary Amendola also spoke words of appreciation for the active participation of civil society in EUSAIR, which has seen involvement of local authorities, universities, research centres, NGOs, Chambers of Commerce, consortia, trade associations, companies, professionals and also the media. "It is an interaction and interdependence between public and private sectors that ensures transparency and credibility, while advancing towards a more connected and more prosperous region," he said.
"I also think of the positive effects in terms of the implementation of common standards in the region," Amendola continued, "as well as our support to Countries such as the Western Balkan countries that are progressing on their path to EU accession, and which we cannot risk leaving behind for our own security and prosperity."
Montenegro is holding the incoming AII/EUSAIR chairmanship.
The Meeting was attended by delegations of AII participating countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.The Meeting was also attended by the Director General for Regional and Urban Policy of the EU Commission, Lena Anderesson Pench, and the Secretary General of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, Ambassador Gianni Castellaneta.