Navigation path

EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian: A new chance to bring countries closer in Europe

(06 February 2014)

EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian: A new chance to bring countries closer in Europe

Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Commissioner for Fisheries Maria Damanaki have been addressing the Stakeholders Conference on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region in Athens today.

Co-hosted by the European Commission and the Greek Presidency, the 2-day conference brings to an end the official consultation and opens the way for Commissioner Hahn to draft the EU's third macroregional strategy by June. The strategy will involve 8 countries : Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Italy as well as non EU members Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

During the conference, Johannes Hahn and Maria Damanaki also met with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs from the countries involved, which currently form part of the existing Adriatic Ionian Initiative, as well as several representatives of the Greek Government. Among them: Antonis Samaras, Greek Prime Minister and President in office of the Council of the EU, Ioannis Michelakis, Greek Minister for the Interior, and Evangelos Vénizélos, Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Extracts of Commissioner Hahn's speech:

- "Start with a pragmatic, realistic and measurable common objectives. Demonstrate to yourselves and your public that you can deliver great results. Then, and only then, increase the scope of the strategy."

- "We have concluded that this new approach can only really flourish if the macro-regions are willing to be drivers, not passengers. The Commission will facilitate and support, but you have to be the leaders".

Commissioner Hahn's full speech

Commissioner Damanaki's full speech