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The future of the European Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region, macro-regional policies for companies, communities and institutions

On April 7th 2022 Marche Region, Italian Project Partner of the EUSAIR Facility Point – Supporting the Governance of EUSAIR, in collaboration with the Department for Cohesion Policy of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Agency for Territorial Cohesion, has organized the event “The Future of the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region” in a hybrid mode. The event was attended by 190 participants online and by 180 participants coming from the whole Macro-Region who attended at the Teatro delle Muse in Ancona.

The event was chaired by Donatella Romozzi, responsible of the EUSAIR Facility Point project – Italian Project Partner and started with institutional remarks made by Francesco Acquaroli, President of Marche Region and Mara Carfagna, Minister for the South and Territorial Cohesion of Italy (on videomessage).

The event was articulated in three sessions. On the first one, the topic discussed was the EUSAIR Strategy and the enlargement process: EUSAIR Strategy’s actions can stimulate contacts and exchanges of good practices between EU member States and Western Balkans favouring the convergence of processes, strategies and national and European funds. The session was moderated by Luisa Chiodi, Director of the Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa and the panellists participating were: Gilles Kittel,Team Leader, Instrument for Pre-Accession, Enlargement Negotiations and EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), DG REGIO, European Commission; Andrea Cascone, Director of the Adriatic and the Balkans Division and EUSAIR National Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy; Giovanni Castellaneta, Secretary General of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative; Miranda Sidran, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Erzegovina, Head of Department for Regional initiative Co-Coordinator of BiH Presidency AII/EUSAIR; Ilir Melo, Director of Regional Affairs, Ministry of European Integration and Foreign Affairs, EUSAIR National Coordinator, Albania; Erblin Berisha, Post-Doc Research Fellow, Expert of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, Politecnico di Torino, Italy and Umberto Trenta, Marche Region Counselor for the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR).

The second session discussed how to create successful conditions between EUSAIR and the Cohesion Policy, since the programming period 2021-2027 of European funds gives and unprecedented opportunity for reaching the goals defined into macro-regional strategies, and particularly in the EUSAIR Strategy. Moderated by Raffaella Coletti, Researcher of the Italian National Research Council, this session was attended by: Giuseppe di Paola, Programme Manager at European Commission DG REGIO; Massimo Gerli, General Director of the Analysis, Policies and Programming Office and EUSAIR National Coordinator, Department for Cohesion Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Ioannis Firbas, General Director National Coordination Authority for ESIF, Ministry for Development and Investments of Greece; Stella Arneri, General Director for European Territorial Cooperation, EUSAIR National Coordinator, Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of Croatia; Andrea Pellei, Head of the Directorate for Integrated Planning, EU and National Resources of Marche Region and Ivana Sacco, ETC Expert, Department for Cohesion Policy, Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

The third and final session was the most technical of the whole event and dealt with the propulsive strength of the network of ETC Managing Authorities for a sustainable future in the EUSAIR area. The discussion in this session started from the laboratory experience realized by the ETC programmes Managing Authorities, started in the previous months, in order to define the guidelines for a harmonized methodology of implementation of EUSAIR Strategy. It was moderated by Germana di Falco, Expert of the Agency for Territorial Cohesion and Cohesion Policy Department, and saw interventions from: Battistina Cugusi, Expert Department for Cohesion Policy, Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Lodovico Gherardi, Managing Authority of the IPA ADRION Programme; Anna Flavia Zuccon, Managing Authority of the Italy-Croatia CBC Programme; Mauro Novello, Joint Secretariat Italy-Albania-Montenegro IPA CBC Programme; Ivano Magazzù, Manager for Capitalisation, Cooperation Actions and Embedding of INTERACT Programme;  Roberto Zani, EUSAIR Thematic expert for Pillar II - transport subgroup from Italy; Iztok Škerlič, EUSAIR Thematic expert for Pillar III and EUSAIR Facility Point Project Partner from the Municipality of Izola, Slovenia and Vlasta Klarić,  EUSAIR Thematic expert and Pillar Coordinator for Pillar IV, Ministry of Tourism and Sport of Croatia.