First tripartite meeting of Slovenia, Italy, and Croatia for cooperation in the northern Adriatic
A working level meeting for senior officials of the Slovenian, Croatian, and Italian foreign ministries took place today. It focused on cooperation on economic development, connectivity, and comprehensive protection of the northern Adriatic region prior to the declaration of the exclusive economic zones by both Croatia and Italy.
At a meeting of foreign ministers of the three countries in Trieste on 19 December 2020, it was agreed to make today’s meeting a virtual one, due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Slovenian delegation was headed by Marko Rakovec, Acting Director-General of the Directorate for International Law and Protection of Interests of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With the adoption of a Joint Statement, the ministers have established a mechanism for enhanced cooperation at the political and expert levels. The meeting in Trieste paved the way for the establishment of an interministerial working group under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Defence will participate.
Today’s talks focused on an exchange of views on the areas and modalities for enhanced cooperation in the northern Adriatic and on formulating proposals for a ministerial meeting scheduled for the first quarter of this year. All three countries have declared interest in intensifying the cooperation on the implementation of activities in the Adriatic region, since joint management is the only way to realise its potential for the benefit of all three countries and preserve it for future generations. The Slovenian delegation expressed gratitude for the announcement about the planned declarations of exclusive economic zones by both Croatia and Italy, pointing out that such declarations should not in any way prejudge Slovenia’s rights under international and European law.