JULY 24 2012 14:52h
The Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Vesna Pusic, attended a meeting on the Adriatic-Ionian region in Brussels on Monday, together with her counterparts from Italy, Slovenia and Greece and EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn.
They discussed the initiative, which was launched by Italy and joined by Croatia, Greece and Slovenia, to draw up a strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region on the model of the already established Baltic and Danube macro-regions.
The Adriatic-Ionian macro-region would comprise EU members Greece, Italy and Slovenia, forthcoming member Croatia, and EU membership candidates and potential candidates Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Albania.
Pusic said that at this stage the idea was to initially include only the coastal areas of these countries and then gradually expand to include the rest of their territories.
The macro-regional approach is a new form of cooperation between neighbouring regions in the European Union and outside it in order to make better use of the existing instruments such as structural funds. The intention is to complete the strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian region by 2014 when the Council of the EU will be chaired by Greece and Italy.(Hina)