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Croatia, Slovenia and Italy in Favor of Closer Cooperation

Published: September 16, 2013; 14:17 · (Vindobona)

Italian, Croatian and Slovenian PMs push for stronger cooperation.

Croatia, Slovenia and Italy in Favor of Closer Cooperation / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Deutsche Bundespost [Public Domain]

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and his Italian and Slovenian counterparts, Enrico Letta and Alenka Bratusek respectively, on Thursday held a trilateral meeting in Venice and at a news conference after their talks they expressed satisfaction with meetings of this kind, announcing the establishment of a trilateral working group to be tasked with cooperation in energy and infrastructure in the northern Adriatic region.

The three premiers also announced such trilateral gatherings every six months.

The host of today's conference, Italy's Letta told the news conference that they could reinforce their position inside the European Union and pointed out the example of Baltic countries that "constantly hold meetings, countries in northern Europe constantly hold meetings".

"We have common topics and interests and share many dynamics relating to this part of Europe, but not only our three countries, also other countries, such as Austria," Letta added.

Croatia's Milanovic described such meetings as useful for preparing harmonised positions for European Council gatherings.

"Croatia has entered the EU with ambitions not to be only a bystander but also to make contributions, although it is aware that it is a small country," Milanovic said reiterating Croatia's commitment to helping the EU in plans to continue its eastward enlargement.

Slovenia's Bratusek added that Croatia's admission to the EU "is a great opportunity for closer cooperation between these three Adriatic countries".

Asked by reporters whether the Venice meeting had considered a future LNG terminal which Italy intends to build in the Bay of Trieste near the border with Slovenia, while the government in Ljubljana finds this project unacceptable, Bratusek said that this had been a trilateral meeting while that issue was bilateral between Italy and Slovenia.