EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region

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    Today and tomorrow, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu is in Dubrovnik for the first annual forum of the EU macro-regional Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR). With this strategy launched in October 2014, the macro-region, home to 70 million people, will benefit from increased cooperation in four key areas: blue growth, transport, environmental quality and sustainable tourism.

    This macro-regional strategy has great potential, not only for increased competitiveness and connectivity in the region, but also for integration. The EUSAIR promotes cooperation between EU and non-EU countries alike, to ensure that no one is left behind on the path to prosperity.

    The EUSAIR involves four Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia), three candidate countries (Albania, Serbia, Montenegro) and one potential candidate country (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

    More information on macro-regional strategies can be found on the Inforegio website.

    The 1st Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), jointly organised by the European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, will take place in Dubrovnik on 12-13 May 2016. 

    The Forum will be the first occasion since the Strategy's launch in November 2014 to take stock of the progress achieved so far and to define the way ahead in the four thematic pillars of the Strategy: 1) Blue Growth; 2) Connecting the Region; 3) Environmental Quality; and 4) Sustainable Tourism.

    The participation of ministers from the eight participating countries, together with the EU Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy will give a strong signal of renewed political commitment towards the Strategy. 

    A whole range of participants from the national, regional and local administrations, civil society and business spheres are expected to attend the Adriatic and Ionian Region's main event of the year. We are keen to hear their views and ideas on how to move forward. The event will also provide ample opportunities for networking and exchanges, including several side events which will take place back-to-back with the Forum.

    Please find the programme and other related information on the event website.

    Don't forget to register before 9 May 2016: registration.

    For more information on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, please visit

    The Commission adopted a new cross-border cooperation programme for Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro worth around €67 million, with €57 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.

    The programme aims to improve the quality of common public services in the region, to promote the development of sustainable tourism activities and to boost the competitiveness of local businesses.      

    The programme will also help reach the objectives of the South East Europe 2020 Strategy, of the EU macro-regional Strategy for the Danube Region and of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.   

    The five main priorities of the programme are:

    1. Improving the quality of services in public health and social care in the programme area.
    2. Protecting the environment, improving risk prevention and promoting energy efficiency.
    3. Contributing to the development of tourism and to the preservation of the region's cultural and natural heritage.
    4. Enhancing the economic competitiveness of the region
    5. Providing technical assistance to increase the efficiency of the management and implementation of the Programme.

    More information:

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The European Council of 13-14 December 2012 requested the European Commission to present a new EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) before the end of 2014.

Building on the lessons learnt and experience from the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the Commission adopted on 17 June 2014 a Communication on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region, accompanied by an Action Plan . The Strategy incorporates the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, adopted by the Commission on 30 November 2012.

The Strategy was endorsed by the General Affairs Council on 29 September (see Council Conclusions) and subsequently by the European Council on 24 October 2014.

For news and information on the activities and progress of the Strategy, please visit the EUSAIR's dedicated website

To get in contact with the team in DG REGIO please send an e-mail to