Information News

J. Joksimović: Adriatic-Ionian Strategy – inclusive recovery growth

January 28 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Adriatic-Ionian Strategy – inclusive recovery growth

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today that the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, which gathers EU member states, candidate and potential candidate countries, can be a powerful instrument of improvement, acceleration and credibility of the enlargement process and accession negotiations.    

At the opening of the Fifth Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, Joksimović has said that the meeting, which was supposed to be held last May during Serbia’s presidency, stands out from all the previous ones because it has been organised in the circumstances of the pandemic, in a virtual form, through a digital platform.    

“It seems to me that this is a crucial moment not only for the Western Balkan region and Serbia, but also for Europe and the EU as a whole, to discuss important aspects of our cooperation, because if there is anything 2020, as a turning point, has shown us is that we have entered a new stage of creating our common future”, said Joksimović.    

She has stressed that the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy includes all the countries surrounding the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, which are tied culturally and historically, as well as in their common interests regarding domestic development and contribution to a revitalised and sustainable Europe, with equally revitalised and sustainably developed Western Balkans, adding that a vast number of the Strategy’s members are the Western Balkan countries.    

She has welcomed North Macedonia which has recently joined the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy, making this Strategy the only one in the EU to include more non-member states than member states.  

“This demonstrates the additional capacity of the countries of the region, both of those that are already candidates for membership in the EU or are negotiating, and those that are potential candidates, while this capacity is reflected in what is crucial at this moment – to improve our cooperation beyond the given framework of accession negotiations, and to jointly work on a better future, not only for the citizens of the region but also of the EU”, emphasised Joksimović.  

She has assessed that North Macedonia has already shown a proactive approach to cooperation, adding that she looks forward to a greater participation of that country in achieving the goals of the Strategy, particularly with regard to improving the connectivity of the hinterland with the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea.    

Joksimović has stated that, during the two-day forum, more than 60 participants will present diverse experiences in various forms of cooperation during the global pandemic, primarily through examples of good practice.    

According to her, the greatest attention will be dedicated to efforts to improve the partnership between the countries of the Western Balkans, as an intrinsic part of the Adriatic-Ionian region, and to challenges these countries face in striving to equally realise strategic goals in areas which are the pillars of the Strategy.    

“Primarily in the areas of transport, energy, environmental protection, and all areas that comprise a new and one of the leading EU common policies, which refers to sustainable and inclusive growth and instruments for its achievement through the Green Deal, digitisation, and all forms of infrastructural connectivity – transport, digital, technological, environmental”, said Joksimović.    

According to her, these topics are on the EU agenda and Serbia is very open to them, given that it adopted the investment plan ‘Serbia 2025’ last year, predicting what the new instruments of economic growth for entire Europe would be, and that it is thus largely aligned with the leading EU policies.    

“Everything I have mentioned are parts of the new cluster methodology, which means that projects, which we will realise and which we are currently working on within the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy, will largely be the way to practically achieve some of the goals of the six clusters we will negotiate under”, said the Minister.

Source: Tanjug