Portorož – Slovenia is concluding its third presidency of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII). On this occasion, the Izola Declaration was adopted at the EUSAIR strategy forum in Portorož on Tuesday, underlining the European perspective of the Western Balkans, said Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar.
At the annual EU Strategy forum for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), Logar hosted a meeting of the foreign ministers of the nine AII member countries.
There they adopted the Izola Declaration, which highlights the initiative’s main achievements of the past year and “expresses mutual support for the region and its stability, progress in reforms, sustainable economic development and the strengthening of political dialogue”.
Slovenia’s objective is to create an environment that will allow the countries of the Western Balkans to develop on their path towards EU membership, Logar added. He also underlined the strategic orientation towards green connectivity and the active involvement of young people.
European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform Elisa Ferreira also addressed the event via video link, highlighting specific challenges, mainly the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on European economies. On the other hand, we are equipped with a vision and all the necessary conditions for a rapid recovery, which will also include countries still in the EU accession process, she added.
Foreign Minister of Albania Olta Xhacka also addressed the participants virtually. Albania will take over the presidency of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative from Slovenia on Wednesday.