EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)

Abstract: 

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) was jointly developed by the European Commission, together with the Adriatic-Ionian Region countries (four EU Member States: Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia; and four non-EU countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia) and stakeholders, in order to address common challenges. The Strategy was adopted in 2014 together with its Action Plan. MSP represents a relevant issue for the implementation of the Strategy and the related Action Plan when considering development and coordination of activities and actions at sea, particularly in the context of Blue Growth and protection of the quality of the marine environment.

Sea Basin(s): 
Year: 
2014
Application in MSP: 
Taken into account in an MSP process
Sectors: 
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Cross-border cooperation
Sea-basin cooperation
Type of practice: 
Other
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Yes
Coherence with other processes: 
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can MSP underpin strategic goals about sea sustainable management at the macro-regional scale?
  • How can cooperation be organised at the sub-basin level to foster common MPS implementation?

Implementation Context

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) is a macro-regional strategy adopted by the European Commission and endorsed by the European Council in 2014. The Strategy was jointly developed by the Commission, together with the Adriatic-Ionian Region countries (four EU Member States: Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia; and four non-EU countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia) and stakeholders, in order to address common challenges.

Aspects / Objectives

The EUSAIR Strategy is defined in a Communication from the European Commission (COM(2014) 357 final), accompanied by an Action Plan (SWD(2014) 190 final) which presents the objectives and concrete pillars and topics of the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy. EUSAIR Strategy aims at creating synergies and fostering coordination among all territories in the Adriatic-Ionian Region. EUSAIR focuses on areas of mutual interest with high relevance for the Adriatic-Ionian countries and built on four thematic pillars: (1) Blue growth; (2) Connecting the region (transport and energy networks); (3) Environmental quality; (4) Sustainable tourism. MSP represents a relevant issue for the Strategy when considering development and coordination of activities and actions at sea, particularly in the context of Pillars 1 and 3.

Method

EUSAIR architecture involves two main levels: the coordinating level represented by a Governing Board and the implementation level represented by Thematic Steering Groups.

The Governing Board coordinates the work of the Thematic Steering Groups in charge of implementation through strategic guidance with respect to management and implementation of the EUSAIR and its Action Plan.

Four Thematic Steering Groups (TSGs; one per pillar) have been set up. Special arrangements are being set under Pillar 2, with two sub-groups for transport and energy, respectively. The TSGs are chaired for an initial period of 3 years by a tandem of countries, on a rotating basis, starting with those that acted as coordinators for the pillar of their choice during the consultation process, namely: Greece and Montenegro for Pillar 1, Italy and Serbia for Pillar 2, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina for Pillar 3, and Croatia and Albania for Pillar 4. These arrangements may be reconsidered in due course by the Governing Board, as appropriate.

Operational support to the key EUSAIR governance actors and stakeholders is provided through a "EUSAIR Facility Point" established in the Slovenian administration. Finally, a wide range of stakeholders (academia, business sector, civil society) of the eight participating countries meet every year at the Annual Forum to discuss the progress of the EUSAIR Strategy and define the way forward.

Main Outputs / Results

MSP represents a relevant issue for the implementation of the Strategy and the related Action Plan when considering development and coordination of activities and actions at sea, particularly in the context of:

  • Pillar 1 Blue Growth, since proper joint governance of the maritime space provides an important framework for a sustainable and transparent use of maritime and marine resources.
  • Pillar 3 Environmental Quality, where ICM (Integrated Coastal Management) and MSP are recognized as needed tools to ensure sustainable use of resources, in a scenario of increased human use of the marine and coastal space, especially for fishing, maritime transport, tourism and construction, and related intensified pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems.

As for other relevant EUSAIR topics, TSG 1 and 3 are working on the definition of possible concrete projects on MSP, ICZM and their integration, relevant for the macro-regional scale.

Transferability

The EUSAIR Strategy and the related Action Plan, as well as outcome of the TSGs work on MSP intend to create synergies and foster coordination among all countries of the Adriatic-Ionian Region facing common challenges related to planning and management of the coastal and marine areas.

Contact Person

Contacts of pillar coordinators and national coordinators as well as a generic contact form are available at: http://www.adriatic-ionian.eu/contact/contact-form

Responsible Entity

The Strategy was jointly developed by the Commission, together with the Adriatic-Ionian Region countries and stakeholders.

Costs / Funding Source

The Action Plan of the Strategy shall be implemented by mobilising and aligning available EU, international, national and private funding of relevance for the four pillars and the specific topics (including MSP) identified under each pillar.

 

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