Written by Vasileios Margaras
The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is the third EU macro-regional strategy, following the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009) and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2011). On a mandate from the European Council, the EUSAIR was developed jointly by the Commission with the Adriatic-Ionian region countries and stakeholders. The EUSAIR launch conference took place in Brussels on 18 November 2014.
The Adriatic and Ionian region faces a number of challenges, such as environmental degradation, inefficient transport connections and a lack of strong trans-border cooperation. The EUSAIR aims to tackle these challenges by promoting economic growth and prosperity in the Adriatic-Ionian region through improving its attractiveness, competitiveness and connectivity. It also aims to protect sea, coastal and inland environments and ecosystems. In addition, as the EUSAIR also includes non-EU countries, it should play an important role in promoting the Western Balkans’ EU integration.
The aims of the strategy will be pursued through four main pillars: ‘blue growth’, connecting the region, environmental quality and sustainable tourism. Each participating country will be in charge of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the strategy. As with all EU macro-regional strategies, the EUSAIR does not rely on new funds but rather exploits existing financial instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), as well as the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) for non-EU countries. Participating countries are also encouraged to seek alternative sources of finance, including private funds.
Read the complete Briefing on ‘EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region (EUSAIR)‘ in PDF.