Dubrovnik Forum ends; Central and eastern European leaders push for closer cooperation

The Dubrovnik Forum on the topic of stronger connections between European Union member states in the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Sea area closed on Friday afternoon and Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov said that it would be great if the ideas presented at the forum were to be achieved.

Europe has set its objectives, they might be difficult and demanding, Petrov told reporters and added that other panel speakers too believed that they were feasible.

"It would be indeed excellent if the ideas presented by panel participants were to function," Petrov said after moderating the panel discussion "Connecting the Three Seas."

Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijarto explained the building of a new fence which was announced by Hungary's prime minister earlier in the day, claiming that the country wanted to defend itself from a new migrant wave threatening Europe.

Respecting the fact that Croatia is in an election campaign, Szijarto said that he would refrain from commenting on his meeting on INA-MOL with Croatia's Economy Minister Tomislav Panenic, which was held on the sidelines of the Forum, until the election in Croatia was over.

He briefly urged the Croatian government not to hinder MOL's rational, logical business decisions in connection with INA. That isn't only in MOL's interest but in Croatia's interest too, Szijarto said.

The Adriatic, Baltic and Black Sea region is Europe's "jugular vein" and its development will require 50 billion euro worth of investments, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Thursday while opening the Dubrovnik Forum with her Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, who underlined the importance of energy projects and said that the next forum would be held in Wroclaw in 2017.

Twelve EU member countries located between the three seas - Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - have huge opportunities to strengthen their cooperation to their benefit and to the benefit of the entire EU, Grabar-Kitarovic said.

Participants in the Dubrovnik Forum on Thursday adopted a declaration supporting concrete energy, transport and digital communication projects to connect Central and Eastern Europe and calling on interested parties from all over the world to join in those projects.

After a round table debate, held on the first day of the Dubrovnik Forum and attended, apart from the presidents of Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary and Slovenia, by ministers or deputy ministers from some of the member-countries, the Dubrovnik Forum will continue on Friday with round table debates at the ministerial level.

A Memorandum of Understanding on a project for the construction of the future Ionian-Adriatic gas pipeline (IAP) as was a joint statement by the chambers of commerce of country participants and an Agreement of Cooperation between the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian Business Angels Network (CRANE).

Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac moderated a round table on Geopolitical Challenges while Economy Minister Tomislav Panenic moderate a panel discussion on Strengthening EU's Energy Security."

Last update: Fri, 26/08/2016 - 21:06
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