1st Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) in Dubrovnik (Croatia) on 12/13 May 2016 attracted more than 600 participants from the national, regional and local administrations, as well as a wide range of stakeholders (academia, business sector, civil society) of the eight participating countries, to discuss the progress so far and define the way forward.

Would you like to catch a glimpse of the Forum's ambiance shared by the actors and participants involved? Check out this video with some of the highlights of the event. 

Also, don't miss the opportunity to know more about all the debates and reflections in the various plenaries and parallel sessions in the follow-up report. Enjoy the read!

More follow-up material (including the web-streaming, presentations of the speakers, and detailed reports of the different sessions) remains available on the event website.

In a complex world, evidence-based policymaking can enhance the effectiveness of public policies. To develop the necessary skills for improving practices in better integrating evidence into policy-making, the European and African Union Commissions together with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) are organising a highly participatory evidence and policy event.

From 30 August to 2 September, participants will have the opportunity to develop their working practices, skills, behaviours and methods, in both the scientific and policy-making domains via masterclasses and group work. 

This year, JRC and IIASA  invite applications from policy officers and scientists developing policy and conducting research in the field of the Water-Energy-Food nexus. The event aims to meet the following main goals:

  • Enhance participants' skills in integrating evidence into policy-making.
  • Create a community of practice that will continue to collaborate afterwards.
  • Stimulate participants to share their new skills and learning with their colleagues.

Would you like to attend this event? More information on the European Commission website.

On 12 and 13 May 2016, more than 600 participants attended in Dubrovnik (Croatia) 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.

One year and a half after the launch of this EU macro-regional strategy, the Forum gathered together the representatives of the national, regional and local administrations of the eight participating countries, as well as a wide range of stakeholders (academia, business sector, civil society) to discuss the progress so far and define the way forward.

During the opening session, the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu, pointed out the key role that EUSAIR plays for a real integration and the promotion of the competitiveness in the territory. "I think this macro-regional strategy has great potential not only to increase competitiveness and connectivity in the region, but also in terms of its integration. EUSAIR promotes cooperation between the EU and non-EU countries in order to ensure that no one is left behind on the path to prosperity”, Creţu expressed.

The Dubrovnik Declaration

Back-to-back to the event, the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miro Kovač, hosted a meeting of the Foreign Affairs ministers ‎and the ministers responsible for EU funds. The Dubrovnik Declaration adopted in the meeting calls for solidarity with the communities hit by the refugees and migrants crisis. It advocates for exploring avenues of action that the Strategy could undertake in this regard and tasks the Interreg Adrion programme to come out with concrete proposals. Regarding the Strategy's implementation, the Declaration confirms the commitment of the ministers to devote resources and promote a cross-sectoral collaboration between the countries and across the different levels of government. In order to make it operational, it also calls for a better alignment of the Strategy with the national priorities for funding.

Migration and other challenges as part of the agenda

The refugees and migrants crisis featured high in the agenda of the panel discussion between the ministerial representatives, and was also tackled in Plenary I ("For a resilient and innovative Adriatic and Ionian Region –tackling social and economic challenges") as one of the external shocks that the region is facing.

Keynote speeches of professors Jacometti (contributor of the European Commissions's Joint Research Centre) and Bianchi ‎(Regional Minister of Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy) set the scene for this Plenary. The framework of the ‎ EUSAIR was confirmed as having a great potential to act as a region wide platform to stimulate collaborative action. A concrete proposal was put forward to develop a coordination mechanism regarding migration policies in the region.

A second plenary session ("Unlocking the potential of the Adriatic and Ionian Region –the added value of multi-level governance") was devoted to discuss and analyse the ‎challenges linked to good and multi-level governance. After an introduction by Joaquim Oliveira (OECD) on the different dimensions of multi-level governance, a keynote speech was delivered in the form of a video-message by Ivan Jakovcic, Member of the European Parliament. A discussion followed afterwards on the important role to play by sub-national administrations in the Strategy's implementation. Good practices where highlighted by Slovenia as a country participating in three macro-regional strategies.

Three parallel sessions offered a platform for exchange and discussion about crucial issues connected to the four pillars of the Strategy: 1) Blue Growth, 2) Connecting the Region, 3) Environmental Quality and 4) Sustainable Tourism. Existing frameworks and funding opportunities were analysed as a starting point.  Several project ideas and proposals of action to be implemented in the EUSAIR framework were put on the table, having in mind the need to improve the governance capacity as well as the need to involve regional and local authorities, the private sector and non-profit organisations.

A Business-to-Business (B2B) session organised on the margins of the Forum by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) brought together more than 100 participants from SMEs, universities, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders, providing the opportunity for exchanges in order to find partners for projects and/or explore new business opportunities.

The Forum confirmed the potential of the Strategy, not only for increased competitiveness and connectivity in the region, but also for supporting the path to EU integration of the four participating candidate and potential candidate countries.

Have you registered to 1st Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) yet? We would like to inform you the programme of the event has been updated. Check out all the novelties!   

If you have not registered yet, please do so at the earliest opportunity as space will be limited. You can easily register here. The deadline for registration is 9 May.

This two-day forum, co-organised by the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia, will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia on 12-13 May 2016.

Visit the event's webpage on the European Commission's website.

Lastly, if you are wondering how to get to the venue, you can see all the details on the "practical information" section of the forum secretariat 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 Valamar hotel, Dubrovnik (Croatia) on 12-13 May 2016. This event will take stock of the progress of the Strategy since its endorsement by the European Council in October 2014, and will contribute to define the way ahead.

Following the Launch Conference (Brussels, 18 November 2014), the governance and management structures of the Strategy have been put in place. Representatives of the eight participating countries have now a stable platform where they gather together to define the priorities for their joint work in the four thematic pillars of the Strategy: 1) Blue Growth; 2) Connecting the Region; 3) Environmental Quality; 4) Sustanaible Tourism.

The Foreign Ministers and the national authorities responsible for the EU funds of the States involved, as well as the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, 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.   We are keen to hear their views and ideas on how to move forward! Don't forget to register before 9 May.

Find the draft programme and other related information on the event website.

Registration link

Practical information and accommodation

The Interreg V B Adriatic Ionian – ADRION Programme - has launched the first call for proposals, which will be open from 1 February 2016 to 25 March 2016  (at 17:00h CET).

The call for proposals will support the selected applications with around 33 MEUR of ERDF and IPA II co-financing and represents 40% of the EU budget.

The programme will support the selected applications with around 33 MEUR ERDF and IPA II co-financing, which represents 40 % of the Union contribution (ERDF + IPAII).

More information on the ADRION Programme website.

This call is worth EUR 80 Mio in total and will be focused on the following four topics:

  • Energy transition
  • Urban Poverty (with a focus on deprived urban neighborhoods)
  • The inclusion of migrants and refugees
  • Jobs and skills in the local economy

This is a great opportunity for the cities and other relevant stakeholders of EUSAIR to participate in the call.

More information on the European Commission website

EUSAIR proposals promoting the cooperation in the macro-region are encouraged to be submitted.

More information on the DG Maritime and Fisheries website.

High-level officials of the eight countries participating in the EU macro-regional strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) gathered together in Zagreb (Croatia) on 7 October 2015 to discuss the best ways to promote economic and social cohesion, as well as integration, through strengthened cooperation. Main objective was to assess the state of play of implementation of the Strategy after the first two rounds of Thematic Steering Groups (TSGs) meetings of the four thematic pillars, held during the first semester of 2015.

The meeting was co-chaired by the European Commission and the host country, Croatia, in its capacity of chairman pro tempore of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative, with the participation of representatives of the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, as well as from the Permanent Secretariat of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, the Managing Authority of the Interreg ADRION programme and the authority responsible for the EUSAIR Facility Point under that programme.

The participants welcomed the quick set up of the four Thematic Steering Groups, as stable cooperation platforms to identify actions and projects of macro-regional importance, also acknowledging the need to improve its functioning (including in terms of attendance and active involvement of its members). A Stakeholder Platform for the (on-line and off-line) consultation and involvement of the civil society at large in the Strategy will be established. Progress was made in the definition of the terms for the thematic and operational support to the Strategy to be provided by the Interreg ADRION Programme and the EUSAIR Facility Point coordinated by Slovenian authorities. The 1st EUSAIR Forum, conceived as key event to gather all interested stakeholders to discuss challenges ahead, will take place in Croatia in May 2016 (exact date and venue will be confirmed soon).

Blue Growth is the long term strategy adopted by European Union to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole, recognizing that seas and oceans are fundamental drivers for the European economy. Still actions to stimulate and harness this great potential for innovation and growth are needed and particularly important.

In this context, the Italian company Thetis organized a workshop on September 28, in the framework of the Aquae Venice Expo 2015, addressed to representatives of marine and maritime industry sectors and regional and local administrations of the Adriatic-Ionian Region.

Sharing of experiences was the working method of the workshop. The morning was dedicated to a plenary session on the Blue Growth and EUSAIR strategies, during which several presentations were given by invited speakers. The afternoon session was dedicated to parallel working groups and included a conclusive session summarising key remarks from the working groups and funding opportunities for the Blue Growth in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.

Download the final report

More information

Background

The registration for the 4th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is now open. The event is jointly organised by the European Commission, the State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Ulm and will take place on 29-30 October 2015 at the Trade Fair in Ulm (Germany).

The Annual Forum 2015 will focus on innovation, professional training, labour mobility and migration, competitiveness and entrepreneurship as well as the role of civil society. During four thematic sessions and more than 30 workshops and panel discussions, this year’s forum will explore the key factors for a sustainable and inclusive growth of the Danube region and thus invites participants to actively exchange their experience in strategic approaches and topical developments for this region.

You will find the agenda, practical information and the registration form on: www.danube-forum-ulm.eu

The workshop “Blue Growth: boosting sustainable development of marine and maritime economy – the case of Adriatic-Ionian region” will take place in Venice on 28 September at the Pavilion AQUAE VENICE 2015 – the exhibition dedicated to water, linked to the Universal Exposition of Milan, is addressed to representatives of marine and maritime industry sectors and regional/local administrations of the Adriatic-Ionian Region with the purpose to get acquainted with the EU Blue Growth Strategy, its objectives and the possibilities offered by the EU funding programs by learning from case studies developed in other areas, enlarging collaboration networks and sharing of experiences.

Register by sending an email, specifying title and date of the workshop, at the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The event is organized by Thetis in collaboration with Veneto Region.