The Final Conference of the SUNBEAM (Structured University mobility between the Balkans and Europe for the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion) project was held in Ancona, Italy on 20 September.

In addition to the results and achievements of the SUNBEAM project, presented by the coordinator and other partners, the conference focused on topics related to the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion. It involved presentations by:

  • Stavros Kalognomos, Executive Secretary of the Balkan and Black Sea Commission (BBSC) of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) who provided an overview of the aims and activities of the AI-NURECC Initiative;
  • Berina Bukva, Local Branch Officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), who presented opportunities for youth in the Western Balkans;
  • Mario Giordano, Uniadrion Secretary General, who presented the objectives, activities and evolution of UNIADRION, an example of the best practice of academic cooperation in the area, according to the EUSAIR Action Plan;

In the same week, the city of Ancona also hosted the AI-NURECC Summer School on ‘Migration Issues in the Balkans’, organised by Uniadrion and Marche Polytechnic University, as part of the AI-NURECC Initiative.

A total of 28 students attended the school, from all the EUSAIR countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia) and benefited from a scholarship covering fees, participation costs, accommodation and lodging.

The professors invited to lecture at the summer school covered major topics regarding migration issues and funding opportunities in the Balkans, with specific reference to:

– the economics of international migration;

– multi-directional migration flows in the Adriatic-Ionian region: complexity, connections and prospects;

– European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) in the Adriatic Ionian region: the experience of the ADRION Interreg program linked to the EUSAIR macro-regional strategy;

– Universities and forced migration: a moral obligation or a strategic step forward?

– deliberation across deeply divided societies.