Strengthening cooperation between 12 countries of the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea Initiative will be the focus of the Dubrovnik Forum, "Strengthening Europe: Connecting North and South“, on Thursday and Friday.
Formerly known as the Croatia Summit, the event begins on Thursday afternoon with keynote speeches by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
A round table called "The Three Seas Initiative", focusing on the political platform of the Initiative, will bring together Presidents Janos Ader of Hungary, Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, Borut Pahor of Slovenia and Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria. They will emphasise the necessity of cooperation and further development of the framework that will support future projects, especially in the field of energy, transport and telecommunications.
Four panels are envisaged for Friday, including "Geopolitical Challenges", to be moderated by Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac.
The "Strengthening EU Energy Security" panel will focus on the benefits of regional cooperation in energy and the role of LNG terminals in connecting the north and the south. A memorandum on the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline is expected to be signed.
Representatives of the Chambers of Commerce of Croatia, Poland, Slovenia, Austria and Bulgaria will discuss projects aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of national economies in line with EU policies.
The "Connecting Three Seas" panel, to be moderated by Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov, will focus on connecting Adriatic, Baltic and Black Sea ports in order to raise their competitiveness and contribute, in the long term, to the realisation of White Paper 2011: "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system".
The first Croatia Summit was held in 2005. It became the Croatia Forum in 2013 and the Dubrovnik Forum this year.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has been invited to this year's event but it is not known if he will attend. He said on Monday he "probably won't participate" because he not expect substantial achievements from the event.