STA, 1 June 2020 - Slovenia is assuming on 1 June the one-year chairmanship of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative and of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR). The main focus of the country's chairmanship of both platforms will be green cooperation, the Western Balkans, and EU enlargement.
Foreign Minister Anže Logar presented the priorities during last week's videoconference with the foreign ministers from all participating countries.
He said Slovenia would strive for the "recovery from Covid-19 to be a green recovery".
He finds it key that the participating EU member states insist on their commitment that joint macro-regional priorities of strategic importance for the Adriatic and Ionian region are considered when funds from the new EU financial perspective are allocated.
He also announced Slovenia would make an effort for the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, entailing its meeting the EU's decarbonisation targets, to be implemented.
A special focus will be given to continuing the EU enlargement process, so Logar said he was happy Albania and North Macedonia were starting their EU accession talks.
Logar believes that Slovenia's chairmanship of the two initiatives is an introduction to its presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2021.
This is Slovenia's third stint at the helm of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative, coming after 2003-2004 and 2012-2013, and the first EUSAIR chairmanship.
The Initiative brings together nine countries, apart from Slovenia also Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
It was formed in May 2000 in Italy's Ancona, with Slovenia one of its six co-founding members.
Slovenia takes part is another two of the EU's four strategic macro-regions designed to promote cooperation between the EU and the regions, namely in the initiatives for the Alpine and Danube regions.
EUSAIR meanwhile brings together Slovenia, Italy, Croatia and Greece as EU members, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania as EU candidates or aspiring countries. Its four pillars are blue growth, environment, tourism, and transport and energy.