Italy’s Commitment in Balkan countries: Presentation of the Positive Results achieved by Multilateralism
13/03/2006 - On March 13th, at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Ministero degli Esteri), a conference on “The Italian Commitment in the Balkan area: Institutional Consolidation and Economic Re-launch” was held. During the meeting, the financial means to support Italy in its commitment to stabilization in the Balkan area, as well as various project which have been realized during the last few years, were presented. This was an important occasion for summarising the actions carried out between 2000 and 2005, which illustrated Italy’s commitment to these objectives.
The meeting is integral part of the Programme for Support to Regional Cooperation (“Programma di sostegno alla cooperazione regionale”) which is promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by Formez. This project aims to create concrete and stable partnership agreements between the Italian regions and South Mediterranean and South-Eastern European countries.
At the event, policy-makers, scholars, journalists, entrepreneurs, NGO operators, diplomats, civil servants from the ministry and experts on the Balkan area, took part. Each of them briefly outlined the actions carried out in the area of interest through the financial means as provided by laws 49 of 1987, 84 of 2001, 180 of 1992 and 212 of 1992. Italy allocated over half a million euros for projects regarding institutional consolidation, harmonization among the population and economic development. Albania received 290 millions euros, Serbia and Montenegro 108 millions, Macedonia 48 millions and Croatia 4 millions.
In particular, attention was focussed on privatization, the labour market, the creation and strengthening of institutions and administrations, legislative reforms, social issues, education, environment and protection of cultural and religious heritage. The process of infrastructure reorganization in the energy, water, transport and environmental protection fields, plays a key role and fosters the re-launch of industries and encourages competitiveness. This important initiative aims to support SMEs in the region and was conducted through the preparation of adequate credit lines and programmes for technical assistance and education.
“Even though the challenges in the Balkan area are numerous, this does not mean that steps forward have not been taken”, said Mr Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, Director General for Multilateral Political Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.