(fa fede solo il discorso effettivamente pronunciato)
Dear Deputy Minister Klisovic,
Dear State Secretary Sencar,
Dear President Tondo,
Dear President Iorio,
Dear Vice President Castiglione,
Dear Director Pariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is for me a great pleasure to attend this final session of the Second Workshop on Maritime Affairs in the Adriatic Ionian Macro-Region” co-organized by the European Commission – DG MARE and by the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In view of the elaboration of the operational part of the “Strategy”, this “Workshop” is of the utmost importance, as it aims, in line with the requirements by the European Commission, at both ensuring a concrete involvement of the Adriatic and Ionian Countries in the “Strategy” and collecting remarks and recommendations from the Institutions, including the Regions, and the Stakeholders involved.
This Workshop thus symbolizes the political meaning of the “Strategy”, as impulse to:
1) the elaboration of common policies among the Adriatic and Ionian Countries in key – areas like competitive and sustainable transport; security of maritime space; protection of marine environment and fisheries; tourism, research and innovation in the maritime sector;
2) a more effective coordination of existing European and national resources, once the operational phase of the “Strategy” will hopefully start in the coming months;
3) the European perspective of the non-EU Countries of the Adriatic and Ionian Region, with particular regard to the achievement of European standards.
In the last two years, Greece, Italy and Slovenia have been actively committed to the establishment of an “EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region”. As acceding country to the EU, Croatia fully joins this political commitment.
A first result was achieved at the European Council of June 24th, 2011. While endorsing the “EU Strategy for the Danube Region”, the Heads of State and Government “ invited the Member States to continue working, in cooperation with the Commission, on possible future macro-regional strategies, in particular in the Adriatic and Ionian region.”
I wish to underline that we are today further confirming the political commitment of the promoting Countries of the “EU Strategy for an Adriatic and Ionian Macro-region” to achieving by the end of 2012 the European Council’s mandate to the Commission to define the “Strategy”, in view of its final endorsement in 2014.
This commitment was recently reaffirmed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia to the European Commission and was significantly shared by the Eight Countries of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative in the “Declaration of the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of AII in Belgrade, April 30th, 2012”.
We received encouraging messages from the European Commission and are fully aware of the fact that the “Strategy” is a great opportunity and a big task to accomplish.
Allow me to underline that the “EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region” fully coherent with the objectives of the “Europe 2020 Strategy”. Furthermore, a final endorsement of the “Strategy” by the European Council in 2014 would have a significant political meaning, as 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the World War I.
In my recent contacts with Colleagues in the region, full support to the “Strategy” was confirmed. At this regard, I am particularly glad to acknowledge the increasing concrete commitment of Croatia, as new-coming Member of the European Union, to take together with Italy, Slovenia and Greece the appropriate steps on the “Strategy” towards the competent EU Institutions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, allow me to state that in the current historic political and economical situation in the European Union, we need more Regional Cooperation to stand united and to achieve common goals.
It is up to us, to our Governments, to make Regional Cooperation effective and thus be beneficial for the prosperity of our Citizens.
This is the only way to be successful in promoting the EU Macroregional Strategies such as the “EU Strategy for an Adriatic and Ionian Macro-region”. This is the only way to act in line with the European common values that mostly stem from the Adriatic and Ionian region.
I wish to finally thank the European Commission-DG MARE and the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia for the precious cooperation in ensuring the success of the “Workshop” and all Colleagues and Authorities and Speakers for personally contributing to the event.