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Albania – Adriatic -Ionian Initiative (AII) Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 September 2013 13:20


The Adriatic Ionian Initiative (AII) was established in Ancona, Italy, on 20 May 2000. Attending the founding activity were seven countries, among which Albania. Today, there are eight AII Member States, respectively Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Italy, Serbia and Slovenia.

The aim of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative is to promote and deepen regional cooperation, which will serve as a contribution to the European integration of member countries. The headquarters of the AII Permanent Secretariat are situated in Ancona, Italy. Its General Secretary is currently Ambassador Fabio Pigliapoco.

One of the AII collaborative platforms is also the University Network of the Adriatic and Ionian countries, called UNIADRION, which includes 25 universities and academic centers.

Operating under the AII umbrella are also the Forum of the Chambers of Commerce and the Forum of Adriatic and Ionian Cities.Albania takes the rotating presidency of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative.

Albania takes the rotating presidency of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative during a one year period, from June 2013 to May 2014. This is the second time that Albania takes the helm of this initiative. For the first time, it led the Adriatic Ionian Initiative during the period of June 2005 - May 2006.

Albania takes this Presidency in a very special moment for the relations between Member States and for AII relations with the European Union. A discussion started within the European Union on the adoption of an Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Region strategy, has reached a crucial stage. At the European Council meeting on December 14, 2012, the Heads of Governments of EU member states invited the European Commission to approve the proposal for a new Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Region strategy in 2014.

Under these circumstances, the period of June 2013 - May 2014 coincides with the final stage of the approval of the aforementioned strategy, and requires that all activities in the AII framework and the work of member countries to converge, with the common goal of achieving the adoption of the strategy, fully prepared and able, together with European Union institutions, to jointly manage the new strategy and to transform it into an effective operational platform.

An important priority of this Presidency will also be the strengthening of regional cooperation and the continuity of integration processes of the Western Balkan countries towards the European Union.

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