European Strategy of the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion
The preparation of the European Union strategy for the region of the Adriatic and the Ionian (EUSAIR) was agreed in Brussels, on 19th November 2012, in a meeting of the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Mr Hahn and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member-States of the European Union: Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia and of the neighbouring countries, candidate / potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans, namely of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina The above eight countries are members of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative.
The European Council ratified the decision in December 2012 and called the European Commission to present its strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region within 2014.
The overall objective of the Macroregion Strategy for the Adriatic and the Ionian (EUSAIR) is the promotion of the economic and social prosperity through blue growth, and the creation of development and employment in the region of the Adriatic and the Ionian, particularly through improving the attractiveness, competitiveness and the connectivity of the regions participating in the Strategy. Said Strategy is also expected to contribute in the European Integration of the West Balkan countries.
The EUSAIR Strategy focuses in the sea basin of the Adriatic and in the Ionian Sea and refers to matters of common interest for the regions of the countries of the area, whether they concern challenges and opportunities in the area of implementation of the strategy, or they are called to address common problems and threats of the Adriatic and the Ionian. The Strategy is based on the following four pillars:
a) promotion of innovative sea development (blue development, aquaculture, research and technology for blue economy)
b) connectivity of the area, both by seaways, and of the agricultural areas and the mainland with the coastal areas, networks and energy issues
c) preservation, protection and improvement of the environment with rational use of the natural resources and the protection and the preservation of the ecosystems of the area and
d) increase of the attractiveness of the region with promotion of alternative forms of tourism, protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of the area and forming of a common identifiable branding of the macroregion.
As horizontal issues the following are examined: research and innovation in combination with the development of small and medium enterprises and the development of administrative/ management capacities (capacity building).
In this framework the actions of O.L.PA. are focused in the reinforcement of an extrovert political cooperation with the respective ports of the Adriatic and the Ionian and other respective ports in the sea-way of South-Eastern Europe on port industry matters, since the creation of the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion will develop regional and intraregional cooperation with multiplier effects on regional and local development.