A Stakeholder Conference on the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, jointly organized by the European Commission and the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union took place in Athens on 6-7 February 2014 .

The New Strategy will integrate the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Sea adopted by the Commission on 30 November 2012.

It will cover the Eight participating Countries and focus on areas of regional mutual interest based around four main pillars : Driving innovative maritime and marine growth ; Connecting the Region ; Preserving , protecting and improving the quality of the environment ; Increasing regional attractiveness .

During the Conference , the results of the extensive consultations with stakeholders which took place from September to December 2013 , alongside with a public consultation launched by DG Regio , were presented .

The Conference promoted a debate with the participants on the future challenges that can be tackled following a macroregional approach .This will support the preparation of the future Communication and Action Plan of the Strategy , which the Commission is due to present before the end of 2014 .

The Agenda of the Conference included a Plenary Session with statements from the Ministers of Foreign Affairs ; a presentation by the European Commission of the state of play of the strategy and its future prospects ; four parallel thematic workshops on the main pillars of the Strategy.