Experience with the existing macro-regional strategies shows that good and stable governance mechanisms are crucial for effective implementation.

Governance in macro-regional strategies is not about new funds nor bureaucracy, but how and by whom the strategies are 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, consisting of Ministers for EU Funds and/ or Ministers of Foreign Affairs of nine participating countries taking strategic decisions at the EUSAIR Annual forums’ ministerial meetings, the EUSAIR architecture involves two main levels: the coordinating level represented by a Governing Board and the implementation level represented by Thematic Steering Groups. Operational support to both levels is provided by the EUSAIR Facility Point strategic project.

  • GBEUSAIR Governing Board
  • TSGsThematic Steering Groups
  • EUSAIR FPEUSAIR Facility Point

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 chaired by the country chairing pro tempore the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII) and the EUSAIR, supported by the Commission (Directorate–General for Regional and Urban Policy, DG REGIO) in keeping with its leading role of strategic coordinator of the Strategy. The Chair may cooperate with the previous and forthcoming Chairmanships.

Chairmapnship of the EUSAIR and AII: Croatia (1 June 2015  – 31 may 2016), Greece (1 June 2016 – 31 may 2017), Italy (1 June 2017 – 31 may 2018), Montenegro (1 June 2018 – 31 may 2019), Serbia (1 June 2019 – 31 may 2020), Slovenia (1 June 2020 – 31 may 2021), Albania (1 June 2021 – 31 May 2022).

GB 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 ADRION transnational cooperation programme
  • Representatives of the EUSAIR Facility Point

Thematic Steering Groups (TSGs)

The EUSAIR communication identifies four interdependent pillars of strategic importance:

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 by a tandem of countries, consisting of one EU member state and one non-EU country, 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 and from 2020 also North Macedonia for Pillar 2, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina for Pillar 3, and Croatia and Albania for Pillar 4.

Role of the EUSAIR Facility Point Project

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 “EUSAIR Facility Point Strategic Project – Supporting the governance of the EUSAIR” was established to provide operational support to the key EUSAIR governance actors and implementers in their respective role. The EUSAIR Facility Point Strategic Project is a partnership of project partners from all of the eight EUSAIR participating countries (majority of them are governmental institutions, it is involved also one regional institution and one municipality) led by the Slovenian administration. Strategic project is implemented and financed under the priority axis 4 of the INTERREG V B ADRION – Adriatic-Ionian Transnational Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.