- welcomes the special attention devoted to drawing up a European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR);
- emphasises that it is essential to consider the Adriatic and Ionian space as a functional area of the Mediterranean basin;
- believes that EUSAIR must adopt a comprehensive programme of action-oriented list of projects and schemes for the greater cohesion of the peoples of the region building on the best practices already developed in other macro-regional strategies, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Europe 2020 Strategy, existing EU programmes and funding measures. It should also be operationally linked with other EU policies;
- underlines the important role of the private sector and it emphasises the need for both the private sector and civil society stakeholders to be more actively involved in theStrategy's preparation and implementation;
- believes that the Strategy should include a stronger social dimension. It is also vital to involve in the social dialogue the representatives leaders of "excluded" social groups, and to fully support EU policies aimed at preventing discrimination on any ground;
- regrets that the Discussion Paper does not adequately address the issues surrounding irregular and illegal migration flows. The EU must devote make greater efforts toin helping the Adriatic and Ionian region to cope with the challenge of migration and to integrate immigrants into society;
- Believes that policing and security are very important to the progress and prosperity of the Adriatic and Ionian region hence the EESC calls on the Council to increase FRONTEX's budget and power to act;
- would also like to remark on the fact that this strategy took a long time to materialise. This delay made it extremely difficult for members of the EESC to properly work on their positions.