News archive - Initiative to Form Adriatic-Ionian "Macroregion" Launched

After an initiative to form a new Adriatic-Ionian "macroregion" was launched at a Committee of the Regions (CoR) conference in April, representatives from the regions concerned have drawn up a roadmap in preparation for the upcoming EU planning period in 2014 and the next wave of accessions by Balkan countries.

On 17 September, discussions were held in Bari, Italy, on South East Europe's macroregional integration model and the CoR president, Mercedes Bresso, stressed the role of the regions and local authorities in launching the strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion.

Macroregion to support EU integration of the Balkans

"The EU can use macroregions to bolster the integration process in the Balkans. Alongside partner States and regions, the CoR will direct its efforts to ensuring that a strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion can be implemented from 2014," said CoR president Mercedes Bresso. She added that "the debate on the political priorities of the macroregional strategy needs to keep pace with the regions' local projects. I therefore invite the foreign affairs ministers of the eight partner States of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, currently chaired by Montenegro, to hold their 2011 annual summit in Brussels, at the CoR building".

Senator Alfredo Mantica, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Italian Government, welcomed the CoR's pledge, pointing out that "The Adriatic-Ionian macroregion is a project contributing to European integration and South East European development. All the European institutions and partner States and regions have a political responsibility – or rather opportunity – to work together to bring this project to fruition". On this point, Mr Mantica recalled the commitments made last May, with the adoption of the Ancona Charter, by the eight partner States of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

The Region of Puglia's president Nichi Vendola (IT/PES), co-organiser of the conference, welcomed the representatives of nine regions to Bari (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria) and hoped that all the Italian regions would share the macroregion project: "The Adriatic and Ionian seas are key for the Euro-Mediterranean project. In a world centred on competition, we aim to showcase the virtues of cooperation".

The Committee of the Regions

The Committee of the Regions is the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. The mission of its 344 members from all 27 EU Member States is to involve regional and local authorities and the communities they represent in the EU's decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. It can appeal to the EU Court of Justice if its rights are infringed or it believes that an EU law violates the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.

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Source: Rapid Press Release.

Geographical focus
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • International; Other
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans

Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on October 20, 2010
Modified on October 21, 2010