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Minister Černač addressed the participants of the 6th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)

Minister for Development and the EU Cohesion Policy Zvone Černač addressed the participants of the 6th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) under the slogan “Along the coasts of the shared sea” via an audio-video link. The Forum is the closing event of the Slovenian Presidency of the EUSAIR Strategy which Slovenia took over in June 2020 and will close at the end of May 2021.

Minister Zvone Černač, Minister of Foreign Affairs dr. Anže Logar and EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform Elisa Ferreira opened the 6th EUSAIR Forum. The Forum hosted by Izola took place on 11 and 12 May 2021. The Forum is a major event in the frame of the EUSAIR Strategy organised by the Slovenian Presidency (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government Office for Development and Cohesion Policy), the EUSAIR Facility Point and the European Commission. Organisers of the online event expect up to 1,000 participants to join in the virtual discussion about the recovery from the Covid-19 epidemic, green connectivity, environmental protection and biodiversity, blue growth, sustainable tourism and the EU enlargement process to the Western Balkans.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today in such large numbers. This reflects the growing awareness that it is only together that we can address the demanding, complex challenges in the areas of blue growth, connectivity in the region, environmental quality and sustainable tourism,” said Minister Černač.

The new Europe’s Growth Strategy focuses the economy on sustainable growth by taking into account climate and environmental challenges and ensuring that the transition is fair and inclusive. “We have already made an important step by defining the joint priorities. Now, the process of embedding the relevant themes in the programmes is underway. Slovenia puts great emphasis on this exercise too but acknowledges this is only the beginning. Much still needs to be done before we can start delivering in a coordinated way. That is why we need a constant and unending dialogue between the countries and the institutions,” underlined Minister Černač.

The Minister said that the EUSAIR Facility Point – the first joint strategic project of eight countries on the shores of the Common Sea – successfully supports this process. “As Lead Partner, Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy will continue to pursue key activities – capacity building, trust-building and strong communication. At the same time, we will further encourage our partnership to adequately address common challenges and needs,” added Minister Černač.  

State Secretary mag. Monika Kirbiš Rojs who also participated at the Forum said at the press conference that she was very pleased with the fact that during the Slovenian Presidency of EUSAIR, over 2,000 participants took part in the discussion on the programming documents for the period 2021-2027. “We are pleased that young people got actively involved in the discussion on the future in the frame of the accompanying events of the Forum,” she said.

Opening address by Minister Zvone Černač at the 6th EUSAIR Forum