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ESG Adria Summit

Momentum For Change

The second annual ESG Adria Summit was held in Tivat, Montenegro, under the theme “Act now for a sustainable tomorrow,” drawing over 600 participants across the region. The publishing house aim was the conference’s media partner, and the editions The Region and Empowering Women had an exclusive promotion during the Summit

This prestigious event, dedicated to promoting environmental, social, and governance standards in business, gathered prominent regional leaders to exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices. The aim was to achieve sustainable development and enhance the positive impact on the environment, society, and corporate governance.

Biljana Braithwaite, Executive Director of Sustineri Partners and summit founder, emphasised the focus on sustainable financing, green transitions, and leveraging AI and startups for regional growth. The summit marks a significant expansion and strategic deepening of the ESG initiative across the Adria region.

Jakov Milatović, Montenegrin President, highlighted Montenegro’s commitment to sustainable practices and the green transition, aligning with the European Green Deal. He stressed the importance of focusing on long-term sustainable development amid recurring ecological and economic crises, highlighting the conference’s role in reinforcing Montenegro’s position on the sustainability map.

“What I also want is for Montenegro to come closer to European standards of rule of law, for Montenegro to approach the level of living standards of the EU, and for Montenegro to approach the equal opportunities that exist in the EU,” stated Milatović. He said this is not the job of one man or one branch of government; it should be the goal of the entire society and decision-makers, including each of you. He noted that the changes demonstrate that countries have momentum, and we must keep it going.

The fight against corruption must be waged daily. The future of the Western Balkans lies within the European Union, and this future must be based on sustainable development ~ Nataša Pirc Musar

Nataša Pirc Musar, President of Slovenia, has stated that 2030 is the last feasible date for EU accession “as it is becoming increasingly difficult.” Speaking at the ESG Adria Summit, she noted that Montenegro is a leader in European integration but stressed that without a commitment to the rule of law and the implementation of all aspects of international legislation, coupled with a lack of anti- corruption measures, the rule of law is ultimately meaningless.

In a panel discussion with Montenegrin President Jakov Milatović, she emphasised that the fight against corruption must be waged daily. She asserted that the future of the Western Balkans lies within the European Union and that this future must be based on sustainable development.

“As the head of state, I always consider the difference between politicians and statesmen. Politicians work to win the next election, while statesmen work for future generations,” Pirc Musar said Federica Mogherini, Rector of the College of Europe, former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice President of the European Commission, and former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, gave a keynote on Bridging Borders for Sustainability: Forging a Prosperous European Future for the Region at the #ESGAdria!

With three decades of experience in international diplomacy and negotiation, Mogherini has emerged as an advocate for global peace, cooperation, and the leadership of the European Union.

At the Summit, she sent a strong message about Western Balkans’ perspective and the need to invest in human capital in the coming years for faster EU accession: “It is not only about institutions but also about the people. Every single citizen inside and outside the EU has a role to play. We need to invest in people! People make a difference in everything.”

We are at the right moment in time, and there is strong political will in the EU to integrate Western Balkans. The cost of non-completing the integration process is too big of a risk for the EU. I’m sure that the integration will be successful ~ Federica Mogherini

She added that we are at the right time, and there is strong political will in the EU for the integration of the Western Balkans: “The cost of not completing the integration process is too big of a risk for the EU. I’m sure that the integration will be successful. So, keeping the political will and motivation will be crucial in the future. It’s a societal transformation, and we must ensure that every part of society feels like part of this journey!”

The event also launched significant partnerships and training programs, including a cooperation framework with the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum to integrate ESG standards into regional business strategies.

Additionally, an ESG certification program will be initiated in collaboration with several regional academic institutions – FEFA from Serbia, the European University in Tirana, and the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka underscoring the summit’s role as a catalyst for sustainable economic development in the Adria region.

Additionally, one initiative dedicated to young leaders is the NextGen program, launched by Sustineri Partners and Universal Capital Bank.

This program aims to increase young leaders’ involvement in further promoting and creating the region’s ESG agenda.

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