The Adriatic & Ionian Initiative (AII) was presented from Italy during the works of the European Council, under Finnish Presidency, in October 1999 and was supported by the EU and Greece. Its aims and fields of cooperation were defined in Ancona in 2000 with the participation of coastal countries of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea.
The Declaration of Ancona is defined by two pillars: (1) the security and actions against crime in the area and (2) the gradual but systematic scheduled development of the area.
The countries of the AII which participate are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. They all signed the Declaration of Ancona on the “Development and Security in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea” (March 2000).
The countries’ meetings are determined by the presiding country and have been round table discussions so far, where all issues are bound to be discussed in a row and with the presence of all the representatives and experts of the countries.
Greece held the presidency of AII for one year, starting from June 1, 2008. The definition of the new priorities of AII was made at a meeting held in Split, in March 2008. The priority issues are those regarding:
1. Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs)
3. Tourism, culture, trans-university cooperation
4. Environment and fire safety.
The Greek Presidency coincided with the initiation of the operation of the Permanent Secretariat that was undertaken by Italy. The Permanent Secretariat has its headquarters in Ancona; its inauguration took place on June, 19, 2008.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS FOR THE COOPERATION ON FIRE SAFETY
Two roundtable discussions were organized under the Greek Presidency. The first one took place on June 20, 2008 in Ancona and was followed by the second one that took place in Athens in March 2009. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection (GSCP) undertook the works of these roundtable discussions for the cooperation on fire safety.
The issue that was put in discussion in the first roundtable was entitled “Terms and preconditions for the deployment of aerial forest firefighting means”. More importantly, the proposed cooperation field was the definition of the parameters and information that would facilitate the provision of aerial forest firefighting means.
The second one on the cooperation for firefighting was held by the GSCP in Athens on March 5, 2009. Its main issue was again the terms and preconditions for the deployment of aerial forest firefighting means; however, it also analyzed the issue entitled “Protection of tourists in cases of disasters”.
No additional roundtable discussion for the cooperation on fire safety was held under the Italian Presidency in 2010.
Serbia undertook the presidency in 2011.
Adriatic & Ionian Initiative: http://www.aii-ps.org/