FM: Croatia to encourage cooperation in Adriatic-Ionian Region

ZAGREB, 15 May (Hina) – Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Wednesday that Croatia would encourage cooperation and good neighborly relations in the Adriatic-Ionian region, and would continue to advocate the enlargement of the European Union.

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is a political framework established in 2014 within which 10 countries cooperate on issues concerning the sea, environment, tourism, transport and social affairs.

“For Croatia, this is an instrument for deepening cooperation from Greece to San Marino,” Grlić Radman said at the annual EUSAIR ministerial forum in the central Adriatic city of Šibenik.

He noted that this macro-regional strategy was directly related to EU enlargement, adding that during its one-year presidency Croatia wanted to help the candidate countries.

The EUSAIR members are EU member states Croatia, Greece, Italy and Slovenia, EU candidate countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as San Marino which has agreements with the EU. These countries participate in joint projects as part of the EUSAIR.

“This strategy promotes good neighborly relations. Croatia will continue to lead by example,” Grlić Radman said.

He said that Croatia has been an advocate of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership prospects from the outset. “We managed to convince our friends so that Bosnia and Herzegovina was granted candidate status.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina was awarded the status of EU membership candidate in December 2022.В “You can continue to count on our support and assistance. We are here to help you with our expertise and experience,” Grlić Radman said addressing the Bosnian delegation.

Croatia handed over the one-year EUSAIR presidency to Greece. During its presidency, which culminated with the annual forum in Šibenik, 14 meetings and 13 conferences were held, focusing on issues concerning the sea, environment, tourism, transport and social affairs.