THE CROATIAN CO-CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE EU STRATEGY FOR THE ADRIATIC AND IONIAN REGION
JUNE 2015/ JUNE 2016
The 1st Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), jointly organised by the European Commission and the Government of Croatia, will take place in Dubrovnik (Croatia) on 12/13 May 2016.
The Foreign Ministers and the national authorities responsible for EU funds of the States involved, as well as the EU Commissioners for Regional Policy and for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will be among the speakers of the conference.
The event provides ample possibilities for networking, and represents a great opportunity to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders from the Region, including national, regional and local administrations, the business sector, the academia and the civil society at large.
Find the draft programme and other related information on the event website.
Practical information and accommodation
EUSAIR dedicated website
After the endorsement, by the EU General Affairs Council of 29 September 2014, and by the European Council of 23-24 October 2014, the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) has entered the full implementation phase. As an innovative instrument of cooperation between the EU and non-EU countries, territories and people of the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSAIR is designed to bring clear impact and deliver practical results aimed at promoting sustainable economic and social prosperity in the Region through growth and jobs creation.
Since it encompasses four EU Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy and Slovenia) and four non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia), this Strategy is far from being only about socio-economic development. It is about reinforcing the process of European integration and EU perspective of non-EU countries through strengthening the ties between the Member States and bringing the participating candidate and potential candidate countries closer to the EU.
EUSAIR founding documents define that the EUSAIR Governing Board will be co-chaired by the country chairing pro tempore the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) and by the Commission (DG REGIO) and the Republic of Croatia took over the AII chairmanship in June 2015.
In that view, Croatia is committed to start implementation of the Strategy without delay, together with the participating countries and the European Commission. The Croatian co-chairmanship, as a first co-chairmanship of the EUSAIR Governing Board, emphasizes the following priorities focused on the economic recovery and growth, job creation and investments:
1. Availability and attractiveness of the macro-region (transport connection, tourist and entrepreneurial attractiveness)
One of the key areas of cooperation is addressing issues of incomplete connections within the transport routes (the Adriatic Ionian Corridor) as well as development of ports and rural hinterland. This will enhance the availability of the Adriatic-Ionian region and its attractiveness as an all year-round tourism destination.
2. Energy networking
Croatia supports efforts to establish an energy independent Europe, and focus of the EU energy policy on financially accessible, safe and green energy. The construction of the appropriate energy infrastructure and diversification of sources and routes for the wider region is of strategic interest for the energy networking of the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region into the European energy space.
3. Competitiveness of SMEs
Research, innovations and entrepreneurial competences are important for the implementation of the comprehensive SME policy. The success of SMEs lies in the systematic development of lifelong learning as a key entrepreneurial competence.
4. Education as a horizontal priority
Croatia emphasizes education as a tool which will create conditions for strengthening the key competences required to participate in the learning process and the labor market. The aim is further development of the European framework for skills, competences and occupations (ESCO) in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, through the EU programs for higher education and programs for entrepreneurship (vocational education and training and lifelong learning).
5. Raising the visibility and sense of ownership
Croatia will give attention to the activities that will raise the visibility and a sense of ownership of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region with the aim of creating a coherent identity of the Strategy. The Strategy will be promoted through internationally established sports, cultural, economic and other social events. This approach will, inter alia, contribute to the networking of social stakeholders at various levels in order to achieve a complementary effect and create a sense of ownership of the actors involved.
6. Clear division of tasks and responsibilities aimed at the establishment of balanced management system
The focus will be on finding an optimal management system with regard to intergovernmental Adriatic-Ionian Council and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region at the ministerial level, which will ensure a clear division of responsibilities and tasks, and at the same time vertical and horizontal coordination which will bring concrete results for the participating countries, as well as overall efficiency.
For more information on the EUSAIR, please visit this website.