The Slovenia Times

Adriatic-Ionian Initiative Urges EU Strategy for the Region


The strategy, which is to be prepared by the end of the year, is crucial for the macroregion, as it will give the countries of the initiative access to EU funding to be used in the states for investment and development directly, said Slovenian parliamentary Speaker and the host of the meeting Janko Veber.

According to Veber, some funding had already been secured, especially through strong engagement of Italy, and much stress is given to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Also on the agenda was EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, where the speakers agreed on exchange of experience between EU member states and those on the bloc's doorstep.

A document was adopted at the meeting, which is to be sent to the European Commission and which underlines the importance of bringing EU institutions closer to the people, also through different initiatives such as the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative.

Slovenia took the helm of the group in June 2012 and will chair it until the end of May. The presidency's focus is on issues regarding the sea and the coast as well as creating a strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion.

The group was founded as part of the Conference on the Security and Development of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, held in Italy's Ancona in 2000.

It brings together eight countries alongside the Ionian and Adriatic seas: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Serbia and Slovenia.


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