From small communities, the new strategies for renewable energies in the Adriatic area

Nichi Vendola (Governor of Puglia Region), Edi Rama (Prime Minister of Albania) and Silvia Godelli (Regional Minister for Mediterranean Affairs) open in Bari the International Conference “Small municipalities towards an Adriatic SMART community” for the future signing of a Memorandum among the Energy Ministries of the eight Countries involved in the ALTERENERGY Project.

“Recently we have imagined policies of cooperation as part of an idea of partnership and growth based on reciprocity and development of knowledge and the ability to unite not only Institutions, but also economic players, the public, research centres and public administrations. ALTERENERGY is a project that plays a leading role in the activities started by the Puglia Region, which aim to create an European Network, in the Adriatic area, of administrations, institutions and businesses through an exchange of experiences, different capabilities and practical innovations” Nichi Vendola, Governor of Puglia Region, affirms opening the International Conference “Small Communites towards  and Adriatic SMART community”, held in Bari on 12th December and promoted by the Mediterranean Department of Puglia Region, Lead Partner.

57 communities chosen to date along the whole Adriatic coastline, 26 agreements already signed between project partners and relevant administrations, 18 foreseen action plans for sustainable energy, 2 infrastructural pilot projects to be carried out in Puglia and Albania and 6 smaller demonstrative projects: these are just some of the numbers of ALTERENERGY- Energy Sustainability for Adriatic Small Communities, the first Strategic Project funded within the IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013, with an overall budget of 12.5 million Euros and a partnership of  18 organizations (Ministries, Regions, Development Agencies and local bodies) from all countries in the Adriatic area: Italy (the seven coastal regions), Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The project commenced in September 2011 and will last for 4 years. 

“The Albania can become a land of hope for Italian businesses, too – said Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, during his first official trip as a Premier in Italy – Actually, there are all the conditions of a competitive system as of work costs, procedures facilitations and government availability to give spaces and structures. In exchange, we only want jobs. We are available to welcome all those Italian entrepreneurs who want to go international taking advantage of a very competitive taxation”.

“The Puglia Region - said Silvia Godelli, Regional Minister for Mediterranean Affairs - is offering itself as a pilot region for integrated macro-regional development, which in the coming years will certainly become the keystone of the Italy-Albania-Montenegro Programme, which Puglia itself will have the authority to manage, and of the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region constitution, in which we will certainly aim at the “pillar” of tourism, to the advantage of the whole area concerned and in the context of a completely sustainable vision for the development of these regions”.

The main points of discussion, not only the results obtained up until now from the project’s activities but also the future national and European strategies for the development of sustainable Adriatic communities. These discussions will be the start of a political dialogue which will encourage all of the Adriatic countries to actively introduce, as part of their own National Energy Plans, the model developed and tested within ALTERENERGY. As a result, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among the Energy Ministries of the eight participating countries will be proposed, committing these governments to promote sustainable energy models in small communities.

The speakers were Massimo Gaiani, Italian Ambassador in Albania, Ivana Sacco, Italian Ministry of Economic Development – Department for Economic Development and Cohesion, the Regional Minister for Economic Development of Puglia Region Loredana Capone and Paolo Casalino, Director of the Apulian office in Bruxelles. Also: Damian Gjiknuri,  Albanian Minister for Energy and Industry, Dragica Sekulic, Montenegrin Deputy Minister for the Economy, Dusan Mrakic, Serbian State Secretary for the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environment protection, Claudio Polignano, ALTERENERGY Project coordinator for Puglia Region and Giuseppe Creanza, from ARTI Puglia regional agency, Scientific and technical assistance to the project management.

In the next days, on the ALTERENERGY website, you can find slides, video and photos of the event.