The role of Regions and their Governance was at the core of the discussions held in Tirana on 15 May 2015 during the “European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region and its challenges and opportunities for the Balkans in the future” conference. The work was organised in the framework of the project AdriGov and with the participation of Maxhid Cungu, President of the Regional Council of Shkodёr (AL) and CPMR Political Bureau Member and Paolo Di Laura Frattura, President of Molise (IT).
Milena Harito, Minister of Innovation and Public Administration, and Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Commerce and Entrepreneurship represented the Albanian Government in the work, while Michela Giuffrida, shadow rapporteur for the Adriatic-Ionian strategy in the S&D group, took the floor on behalf of the European Parliament.
The Italian Ambassador to Albania, Massimo Gaiani, and the Head of the Political Economic and Information Sector of the EU Delegation to Albania, Clive Rumboldr, also participated in the work, both underlining the role that Regional authorities can play in the implementation of the EUSAIR strategy.
This approach was also highlighted by all Regional representatives attending the work, from both sides of the Adriatic. “Our action is not a request for being represented, but for offering a true collaboration to the EUSAIR Strategy: all inclusive policies have to take into account our territories,” declared Paolo Di Laura Frattura.
Participants focused also on the very recent ministerial meeting on the Western Balkans that confirmed the agreement on the TEN-T core network. On this occasion, Johannes Hahn and Violetta Bulc, Commissioners for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations and Transport, met six Prime Ministers from the EUSAIR area and signed a joint statement extending the TEN-T Core Network to roads, railways, ports, inland waterways and airports from the Western Balkans. An opportunity that cannot be missed by all EUSAIR actors to bring the two Adriatic shores closer.