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From a Maritime Strategy to a Macro-Regional Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region
The European Commission has launched a new EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region on 17 June 2014.
The strategy mainly revolves around the opportunities of the maritime economy - 'blue growth', land-sea transport, energy connectivity, protecting the marine environment and promoting sustainable tourism – sectors that are bound to play a crucial role in creating jobs and boosting economic growth in the region. The starting point for this is the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, adopted by the Commission on 30 November 2012 and now incorporated into the Strategy.
This is the first EU 'macro-regional strategy' with such a large proportion of non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia) cooperating with EU countries (Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia). A pair of countries – one EU country and one non-EU country- coordinated the development of each element of the Action Plan:
1. Greece and Montenegro on "Blue Growth": this pillar intends to drive innovative maritime and marine growth in the Region, by promoting sustainable economic development and jobs, and business opportunities in the Blue economy.
2. Italy and Serbia on "Connecting the Region" (transport and energy networks): this pillar aims to improve transport and energy connectivity in the Region and with the rest of Europe.
3. Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on "Environmental Quality": this pillar addresses environmental quality through better cooperation at the level of the Region
4. Croatia and Albania on "Sustainable Tourism": this pillar aims to develop the full potential of the Region in terms of innovative, sustainable, responsible and quality tourism.
In addition, capacity building as well as research, innovation and small and medium size business are cross-cutting aspects. Climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as disaster risk management are horizontal principles relevant to all four pillars.
The maritime strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian SeasAll available translations. (2012) assesses the needs and potential of sea-related activities and sets out a framework for coordinated efforts by all maritime stakeholders aiming at:
- a thriving maritime economy that provides growth and job opportunities;
- a healthier marine environment;
- a safer and more secure maritime space;
- sustainable and more responsible fisheries activities.
These objectives constitute the four priority areas of the strategy and are resulted from extensive stakeholder consultations held in 2012 (stakeholder workshops (1: Athens 2: Trieste and 3: Portoroz). These objectives and the proposed actions were discussed at the stakeholder conference “Setting an Agenda for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth from the Adriatic and Ionian Seas" (Zagreb, Croatia, 6 December 2012).
The conference conclusions [31 KB] All available translations. confirmed broad support for the direction taken by the 2012 maritime strategy and laid the foundation for the work on an action plan. Nevertheless, they also showed the need for a wider macro-regional strategy.
The European Council of 13-14 December 2012 requested the Commission to bring forward an EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region before the end of 2014, building on the experiences of the Danube and Baltic Sea Regions. The newly launched strategy takes into account the outcomes of the on-line public stakeholder consultations conducted between September 2013 and January 2014 as well as the discussions from the stakeholder seminar on "Boosting Blue Growth in the Adriatic and Ionian Region: towards an Action Plan, for the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)" (Brussels) and the Stakeholder Conference in Athens on 6-7 February 2014. It has been transmitted to the Council on 18 June 2014 and it is expected that the EU leaders in the European Council, under the Italian Presidency, will endorse the strategy later this year.
- Communication and Action Plan on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region
- Press release
- Q&A on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region
- Commission communication "A Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas"
- Towards an EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (Regional policy website)
- EU Macro-Regional Strategies (Regional policy website)
Two studies assessed the blue growth potential of the Adriatic and Ionian seas and analysed the current status and potential development of maritime clusters in the sea-basins. The results are published on the Maritime Forum.
Blue Growth infographic
- All news (press releases, speeches, etc.)
- Studies funded or co-funded by the Commission
- Recommended links
- Video: Commissioner Damanaki supports maritime strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Trieste, 12-13 June 2012All available translations.
Atlantic stakeholder platform conference, Dublin, 27 September 2016
Registration is open
North Sea stakeholders discuss way forward for regional blue growth
About 60 stakeholders from the North Sea region met on 20 and 21 June in The Hague, Netherlands for a workshop on strategic cooperation on blue growth in the North Sea area, organised by the European Commission.
40th Annual Session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean: the start of "a new era in fish stock recovery"
The 40th annual session of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) drew to a successful close on 3 June. Decisions made in Malta are in line with the European Commission's strategy to improve the state of the Mediterranean fish stocks and the economic prospects of the fishing industry. Commissioner Karmenu Vella expressed his deep satisfaction with the outcome, which "ushers in a new era of action to help fish stocks recover and fishing communities thrive."