EU Cohesion policy: Kick-off of the 5th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region

The 5th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) that will start tomorrow and will be dedicated to the recovery of the Adriatic and Ionian Region in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Co-organised by the European Commission and the Republic of Serbia, the event will focus on the strongly affected tourism sector, the cultural and creative industries, as well as on the digital and green transitions in the region. Commissioner Ferreira and Commissioner Várhelyi will open the Forum together with ministers from Serbia and Slovenia. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, said: “This Macro-regional Strategy provides a very important strategic instrument to help the region tackle the coronavirus pandemic, promote a balanced and inclusive recovery and foster regional convergence. These developments are essential to underpin the Western Balkans’ European path”. Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, added: “The EU´s Economic and Investment plan for the Western Balkans will be key for the post-pandemic recovery by creating transport, energy and digital infrastructure connections throughout the region and with the EU. Frameworks such as the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative, and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region fit well into this approach. The regional cooperation you facilitate, and the good neighbourly relations you reinforce, support and ease the accession of Western Balkans to the EU.” The Forum will provide a dialogue platform for the public and stakeholders to share their expectations and ideas on shaping the future of the Adriatic-Ionian Region. The EUSAIR, launched in October 2014, covers a region of more than 70 million people in four EU Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia) and five countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia). Register to attend the online event.