More than 200 hundred people gathered for the the 2nd edition of the ADRION Annual Event organised under the headline of Building Bridges of Cooperation in the Adriatic and Ionian Region on 6th May 2019 at Hotel Splendid in Budva, Montenegro.
This year-edition, organised back-to-back with the 4th EUSAIR Annual Forum under the auspices of the Programme’s Montenegrin Presidency, focused on one of the main objectives of ADRION, such as fostering integration between the EU and non-EU Members States of the Programme.
As a general statement, all the event’s speakers stressed the importance of bringing together IPA and ERDF stakeholders for the implementation of projects with the ultimate goal of increasing the exchange of best practices, cooperation and integration in important sectors across the region.
OPENING REMARKS: COOPERATION IN THE ADRIATIC AND IONIAN REGION IS LIVELY AND ACTIVE
The deputy Chief Negotiator, National IPA Coordinator at the European Integration Office in Montenegro Ivana Glišević Đurović opened the event on behalf of the Government of Montenegro. Ms Glišević highlighted the wide potential of cooperation within the area and the role of ADRION as a key driver for the development of the region.
During his opening speech the Italian Ambassador to Montenegro Luca Zelioli said “The ADRION Programme is the perfect case if we happen to talk about bottom-up cooperation as, here, regional authorities, civil society and organisations meet on a common ground. ADRION offers the opportunity to bring in the best practices from local and regional authorities on a vast regional scale. A macroregional framework is therefore paramount if we want to face common challenges in key sectors as transport and innovation which ADRION is currently funding”.
“ADRION is a key instrument for the support of the Strategy”, said Mr Giuseppe Di Paola from EC DG Regio during his morning keynote speech, “It is necessary for the Programme to continue being aligned with the EUSAIR, as it is one of the aim of the European Commission. For post 2020, EC wants to increase the link between INTERREG Programmes and Strategies”. Moreover, Mr Di Paola provided with the latest information on the new cohesion policy.
DISCUSSION PANEL: TRANSPORT, BLUE GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
ADRIPASS, SUPAIR and MULTIAPPRO projects were the protagonists of the first panel discussion held under the headlines Unlocking the potentials of the transport systems in the Adriatic and Ionian region: a transnational approach. The panel discussion aimed to give insights on the latest results of some of our most promising projects in the field of transport. Moderator of the session was Mr Ulf Wikstrom, from Interact, who introduced the topic by stressing the need to look at the TEN-T corridor sections in the Western Balkans as one of the area’s major challenges.
The second panel discussion was focussed on Blue Growth 2 seas of opportunities: supporting growth through the blue economy, moderator of the debate was Ms Sofia Loukmidou, Coordinator of EUSAIR Pillar on Blue growth. The pannelists were representatives of our funded projects ARIEL, BLUE_BOOST and SHIPMENTT. Speakers agreed upon the role of science and technology for the development of a wide number of sectors in the Blue economy.
Sustainable tourism was the topic of the last discussion panel organised under the name Benefitting from cultural heritage in a sustainable way: innovative tourism models in the Adriatic and Ionian region. How can we regenerate old sites into new touristic destinations? This was one of the questions posed by the panel’s moderator Ms Blanka Belosevic to APPRODI, one of the presented project. Mr Cocco, project representative, says “we have to find middle ground between communities, tourist operators and public authorities in order to reach our goals”. The panel was composed of project representatives from QNEST and ADRIATICAVES, both foreseeing the design of two new touristic brands on Quality Network Turism and Caves’ Touristc Route respectively.
THE LAUNCH OF THE 3RD CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The second part of the event was dedicated to the launch of ADRION 3rd Calls for Proposals. A call announcement covering PRIORITY AXIS 1 will be launched on 20th May and will target two topics: Blue growth on Smart Specialisation Strategy and Social Innovation. A second call announcement under PRIORITY AXIS 3 targeting City Transport and Maritime Transport will be launched on 22nd May.
Keynotes speeches by invited experts were given on the topics’ calls. Mr Pierluigi Coppola informed us about the latest challenges of transport systems in the era of the sharing economy and stressed on the direction our efforts should lead to. Mr Zdravko Seidel, Ministry of Transport in Croatia, gave us a thorough overview on the risks posed by maritime accidents at sea and informed on the need to heavily support maritime safety and security. Mr Ales Gnamus provided with a presentation on S3 and its state of play in the Western Balkans and Italy.
As our MC chair Ms Ana Savjak underlined during its final remarks “the values of ADRION are rooted in its framework: integration, cooperation and exchange between EU and non-EU countries”.
The massive participation of people from all around the region and excellent organisation by our Montenegrin colleagues resulted in the success of this year-event. Building bridges of cooperation is not an easy process and can’t be done in a day. Good-neighborly, friendly and long-term relations between countries of the Programme and their stakeholders are key if we want to go far.
Presentations held during the event
- KEYNOTE: THE FUTURE OF MACROREGIONAL COOPERATION Mr Giuseppe Di Paola
- ADRION STATE OF PLAY Ms Barbara di Piazza
- ADRION 3rd CALLS FOR PROPOSALS Giulia Frattini
- PRIORITY AXIS 1 TOPIC ON SOCIAL INNNOVATION Ms Franja Adela
- PRIORITY AXIS 1 ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Mr Marco Zecchinato
- PRIORITY AXIS 3 TOPIC ON MARITIME TRANSPORT Mr Zdravko Seidel
- PRIORITY AXIS 3 CITY TRANSPORT Prof. Pierluigi Coppola
- PRIORITY AXIS 3 ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Ms Jelena Kolic