Mainstream, Transnational & Cross-Border Cooperation PROGRAMMES meet EUSAIR

Online | 15 April 2021

The embedding process in EU Strategy for Adriatic Ionian region (EUSAIR) started in 2018 with Catania Declaration in which the ministers of the EUSAIR countries called on the national and regional authorities responsible for the ESI and IPA funds in their countries to closely coordinate among them across the Region, since the very early stages of 2021-2027 strategic planning, so as to jointly agree on the macro-regional priorities to be included in the ESIF Partnership Agreements and IPA Strategy Papers and, subsequently, in the ensuing, relevant programming documents. In that respect, they urged the ESIF and IPA programme authorities and the EUSAIR key implementers to jointly work to identify at the earliest convenience pilot macro-regional actions and projects which require, for their implementation, a coordinated planning and programming of national/regional ESI and IPA funds across the Region.

After two years of intensive discussions and coordination in spring  in spring 2020 all 4 EUSAIR Pillars proposed the Flagships that were agreed by them with consensus of all EUSAIR countries.

At the Meeting of the EUSAIR Governing Board on 10 June 2020 National Coordinators from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia were requested to present their opinion regarding the EUSAIR final list of proposed flagships for embedding. After all countries had an official say, chair announced that consensus had been reached in time. Governing Board thereby approved the EUSAIR final list of flagships for embedding  and Slovene EUSAIR Presidency committed itself to, on behalf of the EUSAIR Governing Board, share the list in line with Catania and Belgrade Declarations with all relevant mainstream Programming and Managing Authorities, as well as with EU delegations in order for every actor to be properly informed and able to support the implementation of projects.

EC (DG REGIO and DG NEAR) supported the proactivity of EUSAIR key implementers to reach an agreement and adoption of the flagships in the perfect moment, since the process of preparing the programming documents has just started. Although it cannot be assured that all flagships will be fully integrated in the documents prepared for the programming period 2021-2027, a important work in the long macro-regional embedding process was done.

Flagships are understood as solutions for the main challenges of macro-regional importance consistent with national needs as well as with the EU policy objectives for a greener, low-carbon and more connected Europe.

They are however, not relevant only for the mainstream programme, but can only develop to their full potentials if also cross border and transnational programmes support the implementation of their objectives to harmonize the approaches, exchange the knowledge and experience or pilot their actions at the CB / TN level.

The goal of the webinar was to get familiar with the EUSAIR Flagships and to understand their national/cross-border/transnational potentials and relevance for the region.

In this way the countries will meet concrete actions at national and macro regional level in coordinated way, to pursue common goals/solutions for the region.

The event shall continue in following months, when selected planning authorities will be invited to present the relevant programing content and its relevance to the EUSAIR.  The discussion of common ground of cooperation and practical and operational procedures for the coordinated actions thereafter should continue and relevant Network(s) of Managing Authorities could be established. In this vein, the Council Conclusions of December 2020 that called “on all participating countries/regions, with the support of the Commission and as soon as possible, to establish networks of (managing) authorities of relevant 2021-2027 EU funding programmes (Cohesion Policy Funds, EAFRD, EMFF, IPA, NDICI)” will be followed.

Read the whole concept note of the event!