Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII) was founded at the Ancona Conference on “Developmentand Security in the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas” on May 20, 2000. The participants of the Conference were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the six founding member-states (the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Italy, and the Republic of Slovenia) who adopted the Declaration of Ancona, as a founding political document of the Initiative, whereby the states committed to cooperation in numerous areas. In the Preamble of the Declaration the Ministers invoke the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the documents of the OSCE, upholding the existing EU cooperation programmes for South-East Europe, including the Stability Pact.

The aim behind the founding of the AII was the enhancement of cooperation and strengthening of security in the Adriatic-Ionian region, intensification of cooperation among the countries of the region, and encouraging transition states toward the integration processes and getting closer to the EU. The AII is realised through two forums: it is a forum for the exchange of political opinions and a forum for multilateral cooperation in various areas (transportation, maritime affairs, tourism, education, environmental and cultural heritage protection, development of small- and middle-size enterprises, and fight against all forms of organised crime).

Today, the member-states of the AII are eight states of the region: seven of which border the Adriatic and/or the Ionian Sea: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Italy, Montenegro, the Republic of Slovenia, and, as a successor to the membership, SerbiaMontentergo was admitted to the membership at the Ministerial Conference in Sarajevo, on May 31, 2007.

Chairmanship over the AII runs according to the English alphabetical order of the states and lasts for one year (English is the official language of the AII). The Chairman state recommends the programme and the agenda. The first AII presidency was assumed by Croatia on 24 November 2000 at the Extraordinary Meeting of the AII Council as a part of the Zagreb Summit. The meeting adopted the Rules of Procedures of the Adriaticand Ionian Council and passed a decision to include the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the AII.

Documents of the AII: The Declaration of Ancona, the Rules of Procedures of the Adriaticand Ionian Council, the Declaration of Split, the Declaration of Athens, the Declaration of Bari, the Declaration of Portorož, the Declaration of Tirana, and the Declaration of Sarajevo.

Chairmanship Schedule:

2000/2001:    The Republic of Croatia
2001/2002:    The Hellenic Republic
2002/2003:    The Republic of Italy
2003/2004:    The Republic of Slovenia
2004/2005:    Serbia and Montenegro
2005/2006:    The Republic of Albania
2006/2007:    Bosnia and Herzegovina
2007/2008:    The Republic of Croatia

2008/2009:    The Hellenic Republic

2009/2010:    The Republic of Italy

2010/2011:    Montenegro