Ms Eleni Marianou, Secretary General of the CPMR – AI-NURECC Coordinator, participated as a keynote speaker in the Official Opening of the 4th EUSAIR Forum, held on 7-8 May in Budva (Montenegro), opened by H.E. the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Mr Duško Marković, and H.E the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Ambassador Aivo Orav.

In her address, preceded by Mr Rudolf Niessler, Director for Smart and Sustainable Growth and Programme Implementation, European Commission, DG REGIO, Ms Marianou presented the AI-NURECC Initiative’s priorities and actions to the participants. She expressed the belief that the Adriatic-Ionian’s pathway to the future depends on all the stakeholders involved – universities, national, regional and local authorities and representatives from the business sector –working together to promote a sustainable approach to education and training systems and deliver new and innovative job opportunities for young people across the area. This will help to establish the preconditions for an effective bottom-up approach to drive forward the process and create a sense of ownership of the EUSAIR at local and regional level.

Ms Marianou recalled that this is in line with all the main recommendations that the EU Council conclusions, the European Commission and Parliament have issued since the launch of the EUSAIR. She also stressed that the AI-NURECC Initiative has been working in collaboration with partners to pave the way for its spin-off with an extension to its initial 18-month duration, according to the feedback received from different stakeholders and participants in the AI-NURECC events.

The CPMR Secretary General said that looking to the future, the AI-NURECC should focus its thematic scope on some EUSAIR cross-pillar topics, such as “Research and Innovation” and “Entrepreneurial and Skills Development”, and invited all participants to stay informed and become actively involved in the future activities of the AI-NURECC Initiative.