A stakeholder Conference on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region will take place in Athens on 6-7 February 2014. The results of the extensive consultation with stakeholders taking place from October to December 2013, alongside with a public consultation launched by DG REGIO will be presented. This will support the preparation of the Strategy, which at the request of the European Council, the Commission will present before the end of 2014.
The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region concerns eight countries: four EU Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Slovenia) and four non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia).
It focuses on areas of regional mutual interest; these are based around four main areas (pillars): 1) "Driving innovative maritime and marine growth", 2) "Connecting the Region", 3) "Preserving, protecting, and improving the quality of the environment", and 4) "Increasing regional attractiveness'.
A preliminary draft agenda is already available, and the registrations will be launched soon.
A Special Meeting of the Adriatic and Ionian Council (AIC), gathering the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative will take place ahead of the Stakeholder Conference. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, and Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will participate in this meeting, where a declaration supporting EUSAIR will be adopted.