By Marija Avramovic – Zagreb
The annual Meeting of the Hills-Brijuni congress, which brings together the leaders of the countries of South Eastern Europe will be held in Dubrovnik on Tuesday with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic as the host, and will be attended by the presidents of all the countries of the former Yugoslavia and Albania with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a guest of honor, according to Croatian News Agency (HINA).
This year’s meeting in Dubrovnik is the sequel of the strategic dialogue among Southeastern European leaders, which first took this form in Zagreb on July 1, 2013 and continued with Brdo congress with President of France Francois Hollande as the guest of honor on July 25 2013 on a hill near Kranj.
As France has expressed the desire to remain “informed about the region” in detail, on behalf of the French president will arrive in Dubrovnik the State Secretary for EU Affairs, Harlem Desir.
At the informal meeting of the so-called Gymnich format, as the main topics of the meeting were announced the political situation and relations in the region, the continuation of EU enlargement policy, the key infrastructure projects in the region, and the energy policy, so it is not surprising that one of the speakers to share their thoughts in Rector’s Palace will be the European Energy Commissioner Oettinger Geunther.
The political part of the plenary meeting at which they will discuss the “consolidation of the European area” is an important issue for the countries in the region that are outside the EU, and is essential for the success of the second part of the meeting.
A special emphasis will be put on the Adriatic-Ionian highway and the Munich-Istanbul railway corridor. The completion of the Adriatic-Ionian motorway is very important for Croatia, it was pointed out from the President’s Office, since most of it pass through Croatia, while there are 300 kilometers still to be covered through Montenegro and Albania.
This road is in the interest of FYR Macedonia and Kosovo and their consensus in the project is expected.
The meeting will be attended by President of Albania Bujar Nishani, the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic, Zeljko Komsic and Nebojsa Radmanovic, Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic, the President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga, the President of FYR Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.
The guest of honor, German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Dubrovnik with her closest advisors and, as we learned, she’ll be especially interested in talks about regional cooperation and the work that must be done in that context. It is expected that from the meeting will come a calling to the new European Commission, which work starts in the fall, to host a summit of the EU-Western Balkans in 2015.
After the ninth Croatia Forum, which ended on Saturday, Hill-Brijuni process is another opportunity for the promotion of Dubrovnik, the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic, which during the last few these days has been admired by the Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who condemned “the bombing and destruction” of Dubrovnik in the war.