Tirana - Parliament speakers of Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII) member states, including Josip Leko of Croatia, endorsed in Tirana on Monday the development of the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) as a new model of cooperation aligned with the Europa 2020 development strategy.
The EUSAIR should enable growth and sustainable development in the region and the strategy is specific because it covers EU member states and aspirants, according to a declaration adopted in Tirana. It was decided that every parliament should set up a delegation to monitor the work of the AII and the development of the EUSAIR.
Speaking at the event, Leko said Croatia was eagerly looking forward to the adoption of the EUSAIR at the end of this year. The promotion of sustainable economic growth, employment, business possibilities in the blue economy and better transport connections are some of the strategy's priorities, he said, adding that the strategy's Pillar 1, which refers to the development of aquaculture, fisheries, blue biotechnology, and maritime services, was especially important to Croatia.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the AII could become a prosperous region thanks to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will bring gas to Albania and Italy from Azerbaijan, and its possible link to the Adriatic-Ionian Pipeline, which would continue through Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia on to Central Europe. He also pushed for an Adriatic-Ionian transport corridor. The AII member states are Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, and Slovenia. (Hina)