Speaking at the XVI Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative in Montenegro, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic stressed that Serbia is committed to fostering a comprehensive and broad relationship in the Adriatic-Ionian region in the fields of economy, transport, infrastructure, energy, tourism and culture, adding that Serbia would be taking over the chairmanship of Adriatic-Ionian Initiative on 1 June for the coming 12 months and as such organize the next Conference of Speakers of Parliaments.
Gojkovic stressed that the cooperation under the auspices of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative speaks of the awareness that the individual progress of each country depends on the development of the region as a whole and above all its peace and stability.
“Serbia has been consistent in its firm belief that all challenges in the region have to be resolved in accordance with international law, existing regional arrangements and through compromise, dialogue and solidarity. All involved should act with full responsibility, as opposed to unilateral moves such as extremism, violence and fundamentalism”, said Gojkovic adding that, in addition to sticking by international law, dialogue and compromise, the affirmation of cooperation at all levels and areas is the best defence against misunderstanding, distrust and violence.
The National Assembly Speaker said that where our common interests, wishes and future are intertwined in joint policies and projects, where regional mechanisms bring concrete results and improve the lives of our citizens by building trust and understanding, there can be no distrust or antagonism.
“That is why we believe that in our future efforts we should focus on concrete projects and cooperation between working bodies, parliamentary friendship groups and women’s parliamentary networks to strengthen the legitimacy of political cooperation by strengthening the parliament’s role. By having visible, tangible and concrete results of cooperation and improving the citizens’ daily lives in a direct way we will show them the importance of regional cooperation and in turn strengthen the stability of the region and enable its intensive development”, said Gojkovic.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that Serbia believes in finding common interests and has been proposing various initiatives to promote interconnectivity in the region, first of all economically, through joint infrastructural projects, encouraging investments and the exchange of goods and services in the interest of general social and economic development.
Gojkovic said that Serbia is taking part in all the regional initiatives and developing relations with its neighbours, even where there have been none for a long time, to promote regional cooperation built on in mutual trust and understanding.
“Interparliamentary cooperation is vital and the parliamentarians themselves, as the representatives of the citizens, have an increasingly important role in promoting regional integration”, said Gojkovic reminding the attending that the region had previously, in addition to developmental challenges, come up against direct obstacles to cooperation, both specifically regional and global.
In addition to the Serbian Parliament Speaker the Conference is also attended by the speakers of the parliaments of Albania, Croatia, North Macedonia, Slovenia, the host – Montenegro, as well as the deputy speakers of the parliaments of Greece, Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina.