A 'Macroregional strategy' is an integrated framework endorsed by the European Council, which may be supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds among others, to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area relating to Member States and third countries located in the same geographical area which thereby benefit from strengthened cooperation contributing to achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Four EU macro-regional strategies, covering several policies, have been adopted so far:
- The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009)
- The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2010)
- The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (2014)
- The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (2015)
Why EU Macro-Regional Strategies to cooperate ?
Countries and regions face challenges that know no borders like pollution, climate change, unemployment or a lack of connectivity. Their citizens deserve policies and actions that offer opportunities and protect them and the environment in a fair way everywhere.
Macro regions are closely connected areas with common needs and challenges. To identify cooperation potentials, political leaders established macro-regional strategies. The strategies thus envisage and enable better cooperation in macro regions. They work across borders, sectors and governance levels.
Macro-regional strategies serve as open and agile platforms for strategic networking. They help to coordinate joint policies and actions far beyond physical or psychological barriers. A broad range of people works together on thematic platforms and processes to define concrete work plans that ultimately shape cooperation on the ground. As such, they make cooperation meaningful and their macro regions stronger, more resilient and attractive to live in, everywhere and for all.
EU Macro Regional Strategies’ priorities
All adopted macro-regional strategies are accompanied by a rolling action plan to be regularly updated in light of new, emerging needs and changing contexts. The four macro-regional strategies concern 19 EU member-states and 8 non-EU countries.
All of them are actively contributing to the EU priorities:
- The EU Green Deal
- An EU stronger in the World
- An EU closer to citizens
EU Macro Regional Strategies are also benefiting from a large range of stakeholder’s participation, by bringing in their daily work civil society organisations, SME’s and young people active in the governance of the strategies.
The 2021-2027 legislation reinforce their synergies with the Interreg transnational programmes, namely Interreg Baltic Sea Region, Interreg Danube Region, Interreg IPA Adrion and Interreg Alpine Space which are funding projects and are supporting the governance.
Council conclusion on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies - 3 December 2020
Third Report on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies (2020)
Factsheet What is an EU macro-regional strategy? (2017)
Study Macro-regional strategies and their links with cohesion policy (2017)
Council conclusions on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies (2019)
Second Report on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies (2019)
Council conclusions on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies (2017)
First Report on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies (2016)
Report concerning the governance of macro-regional strategies (2014)
Council conclusions on the governance of macro-regional strategies (2014)
Report concerning the added value of macro-regional strategies (2013)
Council conclusions on added value of macro-regional strategies