EU strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)

Key points:

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), as it will help to promote and support the region's economic competitiveness and social cohesion.

 

The EESC

  • maintains that during the different stages of the EUSAIR's implementation, public and private economic and social stakeholders need adequate guidance through ad hoc training programmes and organisational and technical support;
  • welcomes the complementarity between the EUSAIR and the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas;
  • notes that civil society involvement in the EUSAIR requires more attention;
  • considers the EUSAIR's structure and objectives to be suited to helping partners in the region to address challenges that cannot be dealt with effectively through the usual means.

The region needs measures that promote easier access to credit for SMEs, private investment, participation in EU funding programmes and cooperation with research centres and universities.

 

The EESC believes that in to promote research and innovation, the following priorities should be taken in account:

  • setting up a transnational R&D&I (research, development and innovation) platform to improve SME competitiveness by transforming innovative ideas into market-ready products;
  • developing transnational smart specialisation studies to identify innovation and business capacities;
  • promoting more entrepreneurial involvement in deciding R&D&I policies;
  • launching an "Adriatic and Ionian matchmaking platform" to make it easier for SMEs and young entrepreneurs to obtain innovation funding.

The EESC believes that the EUSAIR's social dimension must be integrated and strengthened by promoting social investment and the necessary modernisation of social protection systems.

The EESC advocates identifying ad hoc indicators to enable the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the EUSAIR's programmes and measures.