6th Annual EUSAIR Forum

Izola, Slovenia | 11-12 May 2021


Now, more than ever, citizens feel the need to a healthy environment. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought people closer to nature, to profit more of the green spaces around them, being they in natural areas, in the countryside or in urban spaces. This made clearer how fragile is nature and how important is to make all possible efforts to protect it.

Green infrastructures are a key element to do it and to stop the loss of biodiversity. They provide huge benefits and vital services to people, the society and nature.

In regions where many political borders create administrative as well as physical obstacles to the protection of nature and biodiversity, joint planning and implementation of green infrastructures is key to revert the loss of biodiversity.

Macro-regional strategies offer an ideal framework for policy coordination in certain European regions. They allow a harmonized implementation of the relevant EU legislation and policy both in the participating Member States and in candidate and potential candidate countries, therefore facilitating the alignment with the EU acquis and practices in this sector. In particular, they contribute to tailor the implementation of the European Green Deal, including the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 (COM(2020) 380 final), to the needs of a specific territory crossing several borders.

In order to support the efforts of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) and EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) for the deployment of Green Infrastructures, the European Commission financed a study under the EPPA (EU Environment Partnership Programme for Accession) in the Western Balkans that identified conservation areas of high transboundary importance and explored the level of existing landscape connections between them. The study, finalized at the end of 2020, contributes to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, as well as to establish a coherent Trans-European Nature Network and to the implementation of the EU Nature Restoration Plan in the Region.

The “Manual for Recognising and Planning Green Infrastructure” is a positive initiative that goes exactly in the same direction and we are confident that could be a good basis for a planning an efficient network of green infrastructures in the framework of EU Macro-regional strategies.

Jean-Pierre Halkin

Head of Unit Macro-regions, Transnational/Interregional/ External Cooperation, Enlargement

Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy

European Commission

Read the whole document HERE!