Mainstream, Transnational & Cross-Border Cooperation PROGRAMMES meet EUSAIR

Online | 15 April 2021
“Let’s build practical cooperation!”, was a farewell wish from one of more than 140 participants representing regional, national, cross-border and transnational programmes from Adriatic-Ionian region and who followed the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-regional Strategy (EUSAIR) flagships presentation. What does the nine countries have in common, why to cooperate? Same EU strategies, like Green Agenda. Same regulations. Same specific objectives. Same source of financing. But most important – same people, same territory and same development goals. Should the cooperation among the programmes and the strategy be more regulated through the regulations at the top level? “It might help, but that would also bring additional burdens!”, was the shared opinion. In the past years’ countries and regions working together in the Adriatic-Ionian region defined a number of flagships showing where investments and cooperation on the ground is needed in the coming seven years. The flagships provide orientation for the funding programmes. During the webinar, EUSAIR colleagues showed different ways how programmes can link to macro regional processes and implement part of the flagships in practical terms. Based on agreed concept in 2018, quite some steps have already been implemented to link funding programmes to macro regional processes, and we can all be proud of the first best practices of programmes networking. The Blue Growth, Transport, Energy, Environmental Quality and Sustainable Tourism have many potentials, if tackling them from regional, national, cross-border and transnational perspective. It is like building blocks! Comprehensive policy making! And the implementation? The Council Conclusions from December 2020 are a great start. One of the highlights relate to the   call on all participating countries/regions, with the support of the Commission, to establish networks of (managing) authorities of relevant 2021- 2027 EU funding programmes (Cohesion Policy Funds, EAFRD, EMFF, IPA, NDICI). It also calls the managing authorities to actively participate in such networks in order to ensure a coordinated implementation of the macro regional priorities and projects . Now it is up to us to reply to the call. The steps toward the network(s) of managing/programming authorities are clear: 1. Screening the programmes, 3. Matching their objectives 3. Search for common implementation. The first steps are done; the first conclusions are clear:
  • The event Programmes meet EUSAIR session was only a beginning and introduction, there is a strong intention to organise a long term cooperation.
  • Contribution to EUSAIR is highlighted in the regulation. The selected flagships not only provide orientation for cooperation in the region but show ways how the contribution to EUSAIR can be implemented in a practical and meaningful way.
  • Programmes do not operate in isolation.
  • Flagships and can be also used as a format for a more systematic exchange between different programmes in the Adriatic-Ionian region.
  • EUSAIR can help programmes to capitalise results beyond the single fund bubble with relevant partners from other funds or instruments.
  • Coordination and complementarities between different funding instruments are especially vital in the period 2021-2027 when we face large challenges going beyond national borders and at the same time have to operate with reduced financing.
  • Exchange and cooperation between Managing Authorities through, for example, managing authorities’ networks, is a way to learn from each other!
Good luck to all of us on our way to a more coordinated cooperation in the Adriatic-Ionian region, together we are stronger and more resilient!