November 18, 2020 - The Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Montenegro, HE Luka Zelioli, at the invitation of the President of the Municipality Zeljko Komnenovic, visited Tivat and talked with the new local government about strengthening bilateral cooperation.
"You are the first foreign Ambassador to visit Tivat since the change of government, and I thank you for that. I must note that Tivat and Boka's connection with Italy through history and tradition is more than evident. I hope to create stronger ties, which will result in concrete examples of international cooperation, especially in the field of culture." Tivat Mayor Zeljko Komnenovic pointed out the special importance of a larger presence of Italian investors "to strengthen our ties, especially in the sphere of tourism."
Ambassador Zelioli thanked the mayor for recalling Italy's particular connection with Boka, which has seen an increase in the number of Italian tourists visiting the area in recent years. He pointed out the intensive cooperation in the fields of culture between the Embassy and the Community of Italian Montenegro in the Bay of Kotor's towns. He expressed strong interest in intensifying cultural cooperation with the Municipality of Tivat, confirming the readiness of the first initiative. Zelioli highlighted the importance of the presence of small and medium-sized Italian companies in Tivat and suggested strengthening economic cooperation in spheres of common interest.
Bearing in mind that Italy will co-chair the 26th Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - COP 26 in the coming years, this country is paying special attention to environmental protection and economic sustainability activities. When it comes to Boka, their particular interest is in the sphere of public maritime transport.
The reception was also attended by the President of the Municipal Assembly of Tivat, Dr. Andrija Petković, who pointed out that the coastal part of Montenegro, especially Boka and the Italian coast, share a similar mentality. "We love Italian fashion, "Calcio," San Remo festival . Many Italians have significantly contributed to the work of the Boka Navy. The people of Tivat still remember the old Italian doctors who worked in our city," said Dr. Petkovic. He expressed his wish that the Italian Community in Montenegro improve cooperation with the Municipality of Tivat and organize cultural events in the city.
The Vice-President of the municipality, Goran Božović, recalled the two twinning projects that Tivat has with the Italian cities of Mola di Bari (from 1969) and San Giacomo Delle Schiavoni (from 2007), which should be revitalized. "I would also like to highlight the Tivat International Carnival cooperation with carnivals from the region of Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Lombardy. As Mediterranean countries, we share similar features of cultural heritage. Such collaboration brings people and countries closer; I am sure that there is a lot of room for concrete cooperation when it comes to international projects, "said Bozovic.
Ambassador Zelioli recalled the success of many EU-funded initiatives, citing the example of the Italy-Albania-Montenegro Interreg IPA cross-border program, which covers the two Italian regions of Pula and Molise. He pointed out the opportunities that such a program can provide to municipalities like Tivat, with active participation and project proposals. The Municipality of Tivat has successfully nominated projects in the past period within this program.
The President of the municipality, Zeljko Komnenovic, announced that Boka's towns and cities would act together in the future to increase the chances for better visibility of all activities, and thus increase the opportunities for the success of candidate projects.