Mobilizing ESI and IPA funds in the EUSAIR and EUSDR in post-2020
Event of the European Week of Regions and Cities, 14 October 2020
Stimulated by Catania Declaration of EUSAIR Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers responsible for EU funds, EUSAIR Pillars worked very hard to identify a limited number of joint actions of strategic importance for the region to be embedded in future Cohesion policy and IPA programmes. National Coordinators and EUSAIR Facility Point steered and facilitated the work of the Pillars, concluded with a series of dedicated topic oriented discussions on EUSAIR Stakeholder Platform, developed by EUSAIR Facility Point. After two years of the intensive work, has GB in June 2020 adopted the list of EUSAIR flagships.
And although Slovenian Pro-temporary Presidency recognizes agreement on flagships as very important and difficult task, it is stressing that this is only the first step. Macro-regional Strategies were on time providing strategic inputs of macro-regional top priorities to be embedded. But without monitoring this embedding process properly, all the work done could be in vain.
Therefore EUSAIR Pro-temporary Presidency took active part at the European Week of Regions and Cities' event focused on Mobilizing ESI and IPA funds in the EUSAIR and EUSDR in post-2020.
While presenting the on-going activities at the national level, the Slovenian Pro-temporary Presidency made very clear that the embedding process crucially depends on joint efforts of countries involved in Macro-regional Strategies, but also on the role European Commission will play in this matter. Since the only one who has, by function, territorial insight in programming process, and thus in embedding, is European Commission. Its DG REGIO is part of all drafting and negotiation processes for all Operational Programmes. In addition, DG NEAR centrally manages IPA Programme. Both were asked to provide information on the level of embedding that materialised in the draft programming documents in order for EUSAIR key implementers to be able to jointly agree, weather this is in line with the agreed strategic importance of the approved EUSAIR flagships, or if and which corrective measures need to be addressed and presented to political leaders at the 6th EUSAIR Annual Forum, 11-12 May 2021.
As in some cases territories of Macro-regional Strategies overlap, Slovenian Pro-temporary Presidency of EUSAIR organised a cross 4 macro-regional exchange on adopted flagships/priorities to increase synergies and impact and to make the monitoring process more effective.
"We have agreement based on mutual understanding and mutual trust what actions of strategic importance should be implemented in the region; but also other political players involved in policy design, implementation and financing should share our mutual understanding. We could reach this only be cooperation and harmonised action from all levels, from bottom up, but also from top down. Macro-regional Strategies are not the only players. Macro-regional Strategies can contribute a lot, but cannot act in isolation," concluded Ms Andreja Jerina, Slovenian National Coordinator and head of EUSAIR Pro-temporary Presidency.