Experience with existing macro-regional strategies shows that good and stable governance mechanisms are crucial for effective implementation. The Commission's Report on governance of May 2014 identifies three main needs: stronger political leadership, effective decision-making, and good organisation.
Better governance is not about new funds nor bureaucracy, but how and by whom the Strategy is implemented and joint actions initiated and financed. Governance must have both a political and operational dimension, with line ministries and implementing bodies setting strategic objectives, and then making sure the work is strictly followed up. This will give clearer results and greater impact.
EUSAIR governance and management architecture
In addition to the political level, EUSAIR architecture involves two main levels: the coordinating level represented by a Governing Board and the implementation level represented by thematic Steering Groups.
EUSAIR Governing Board (GB) - The Governing Board (GB) 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. To this end, representatives from the participating countries should be duly empowered by their respective Governments.
The GB is co-chaired by the country chairing pro tempore the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative and by the European Commission (Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, DG REGIO). Standing members are:
- National representatives: Each participating country is represented by two formally appointed National Coordinators, i.e. one senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one senior official from the national administration responsible for coordinating EU funds in the country.
- Formally appointed Pillar Coordinators.
- Commission services: DG REGIO, DG MARE and DG NEAR. Other Directorates-General (DGs) may participate as appropriate.
- A representative of the European Parliament.
- A representative of the Committee of the Regions accompanied by a representative of its Adriatic-Ionian Interregional Group.
- A representative of the European Economic and Social Committee.
- The Permanent Secretariat of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative.
- Representatives of the Managing Authority of the Interreg Adriatic Ionian (ADRION) transnational cooperation programme and of the EUSAIR Facility Point under the programme.
Thematic Steering Groups (TSGs) - The EUSAIR communication identifies four interdependent pillars of strategic importance: Blue Growth - Pillar 1; Connecting the Region (transport and energy networks) Pillar 2; Environmental quality - Pillar 3; Sustainable tourism - Pillar 4. Four Thematic Steering Groups (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.
Role of the Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION) transnational cooperation programme
Operational and administrative support is of utmost importance for an effective and efficient performance of the functions attributed to the GB and the TSGs. Accordingly, the ADRION programme shall support governance and implementation of the EUSAIR. To this end, the ADRION programme is including a Priority Axis "Supporting the governance of the EUSAIR" which envisions a specific Action "Operational support to the key EUSAIR governance actors and stakeholders in their respective role". This Action will be implemented through a "EUSAIR Facility Point" to be established in the Slovenian administration.