The XV AIE General Elective Assembly, hosted by Molise Region, was held in Termoli on 8/02/2018 involving the members of the association and focused on statutory issues and the renewal of the AIE bodies.

The agenda for the meeting involved a debate on the past and future activities of the association, its participation in EUSAIR initiatives and the European projects. Also the initiative AI-NURECC was adopted meaning that the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion will collaborate with the most important macro-regional institutions in order to realize a joint project focused on Macro-regional strategy.

The Assembly approved the AIE activity report and budget for 2017 and the AIE activity & financial plan for 2018, confirming also the annual membership fee for 2018.

The Assembly has elected the new bodies of the Association confirming almost the previous ones. In particular, President Nikola Dobroslavić from Dubrovnik Neretva County (Croatia) was elected for the second two-year mandate as president of the Adriatic-Ionian Euroregion. Also President Aldrin Dalipi (Regional Council of Tirana, Albania) and President Luciano D’Alfonso (Abruzzo Region, Italy) were confirmed as Vice presidents.

The Assembly accepted the requests for membership of Una Sana County and Herzegbosnian County from Bosnia Herzegovina, the Municipality of Budva from Montenegro and the Calabria Region from Italy. AIE Secretary General, Francesco Cocco, said: “This meeting takes place at a very important time for the association. We warmly welcome the four new members, the association has enlarged the membership that counts now 33 members“.

As part of the Assembly, a roundtable was held on the topic “Cohesion policy after 2020 in the area of the Adriatic-Ionian Region“.

Mr. Dobroslavic emphasized that the EU’s discussions are currently on the topics of Brexit, as well as the future of Europe, what will be the cohesion policy after 2020 and the current debate on the EU enlargement.

“Brexit is a fact, even though the British themselves are no longer sure whether they want it or not. As far as the enlargement is concerned, few days ago, the European Parliament adopted a new Enlargement Strategy according to which all countries of the Western Balkans are welcome in the EU. It is important that these countries must meet the criteria for the EU accession, as well as, having good relations with neighbours, achieving an adequate level of security and migration opportunities. This is a good approach and we will support it also in the framework of the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion”.

The President added that the Cohesion policy must be a fundamental EU policy for the future. It must be accessible to everyone and easier to implement. This is the same strong position taken by the Committee of the Regions. Without it, there is no an equal development of all countries, especially in our cooperation area.

Mr. Dobroslavic underlined that he took one day for traveling to Termoli from Dubrovnik. This cannot be accepted. Citizens of the Adriatic Ionian area need better transport connections, such as efficient maritime routes, Adriatic-Ionian highway, high speed rail and flight connections. Without the cohesion policy, such kind of investments will not be possible in the future, so this crucial EU policy must be strengthened in post 2020.

FURTHER READING AND FOLLOW UP DOCUMENTS: XV GENERAL ELECTIVE ASSEMBLY

Photo by Emanuele Bracone