After mobilisation of the Adriatic and Ionian territories, the European Council of 13-14 December 2012 asked the Commission to prepare a new EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) by the end of 2014, subject to the evaluation of the concept of macro-regional strategies requested by the Council and due in June 2013. Therefore, the Commission services will proceed with the preparation of a Communication and an Action Plan to be adopted by the College in Spring 2014 and subsequently submitted to the Council for endorsement in Autumn 2014.
The Adriatic and Ionian region has more than 10 years’ experience in concerted cooperation not only among countries in the region, but also among regional initiatives, synergies and complementarity. It has its foundation in the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII) established in Ancona (Italy) in 2000 and other networks, such as the Forum of Adriatic and Ionian Cities (FAIC), founding member of CECICN.
While a macro-regional strategy does not create new legislation, new institutions, or new funding, it aims at the better alignment of existing policies and existing funding in place, under the umbrella of the Regional and Cohesion Policy (Articles 158-162 of the Treaty), including the European Territorial Cooperation objective. The lack of such a coordinated approach is evident in the Region. The Adriatic and Ionian Region is facing major challenges, such as ecological degradation, inadequate connectivity, inexistent or very limited cooperation for boosting blue growth, or to raise competitiveness and innovation in the tourism sector in particular, improve the inefficient transport connections and provide solutions to environmental issues.
Given the transnational nature of these problems, policy responses have been to date fragmented. This is exacerbated by the fact that the 8 countries of the region have different development levels (Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania). Moreover, the non-Member States benefit from limited know-how and restricted EU funding, compared to the Member States.
Without creating new policies or using new funds, the general objective of the EUSAIR is to use the existing policies in order to promote economic, social and environmental well-being of the region by improving its attractiveness, competitiveness and connectivity. The general objective above will be reached by elaborating an Action Plan around few key areas that are of strategic importance for the macro-region.
You can read the complete roadmap HERE.