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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article16 May 2022Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

EU cohesion policy: Kick-off of the 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region

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Today, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms,Elisa Ferreira, has opened with a video-message the 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) in Tirana, under the EUSAIR Presidency of Albania. The two-day forum will focus on, among others, the challenges of energy security and climate change, transport policies, investment opportunities in the Adriatic and Ionian macroregion and how to facilitate EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. Commissioner Ferreira said: “I am happy to see that the EUSAIR annual forum takes place during the European Year of Youth in the European Capital of Youth, Tirana. Young people are a key driver for regional cooperation, reconciliation and peacebuilding and I very much encourage the set-up of a EUSAIR Youth Council so that youth living in the Adriatic and Ionian macroregion can exchange about their challenges and have a say about their future.” The EUSAIR Ministerial Meeting Ministers will adopt the ‘Tirana Declaration' to mainly express their solidarity with Ukraine condemning the invasion by Russia, while also calling on the EU to accelerate on the Western Balkan countries' EU membership. During the event, the ‘EUSAIR Young business model Popri' will be awarded to the best entrepreneurial ideas among young people from the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion. The EUSAIR, launched in October 2014, covers a macroregion of more than 70 million people in four Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia) and six non-EU countries, among which five of them are from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and San Marino) cooperating to overcome common challenges in four pillars: ‘Blue Growth', ‘Connecting the Region' (Transport and Energy), ‘Environmental Quality' and ‘Sustainable Tourism'. See the programme of the event.