the new cohesion policy 2021-2027
ADRION Territorial Analysis
Appendix to ADRION Territorial Analysis

Towards the new ADRION: A view ahead on the next Programming period 2021-2027

ADRION current programming period will be officially over in 2020.  What does it come next?

Although, the future of the Programme is part of a negotiating process among concerned bodies (EC; European Parliament; the European Council; Committee of the Regions, etc.), a taskforce has been set up at Programme level in order to discuss with our Partner States the areas and topics of the new ADRION and the ways to involve Programme stakeholders with public consultations. The taskforce is also in charge of commissioning a territorial analysis that will give useful insights on the future needs of the Programme. The taskforce already met twice in 2019 and is meeting regularly in 2020.

These meetings will advance in parallel with the EU-level negotiations on the budgetary and regulatory framework. In this regard, the European Commission has presented its Orientation Paper on ADRION, a document aimed at triggering a discussion on the future Programme with Partner States concerned. It does not represent the negotiating position of the EC, but it intends to give orientations on the thematic focus of the future Cooperation Programme.  The paper highlights some important points:

  • The future Adriatic-Ionian programme should closely link with the EUSAIR priorities and objectives
  • For transnational cooperation is paramount to address joint challenges in areas, known well as “functional areas” which have joint characteristics. Transnational cooperation is reaching its full potential when there is a strong will to address those challenges jointly
  • The programme should concentrate on thematic key areas where joint actions can have the biggest impact. In doing so, EU funds would focus on a limited set of objectives and policy areas, thus achieving the highest possible impact, in terms of efficiency of funding and result orientation.

Nevertheless, something we are sure about is that the new ADRION will enlarge the family: North Macedonia will join in the new Programming period, raising the number of Partner Countries to 9.

ADRION Territorial Analysis

In July 2020 the territorial analyisis  commissioned by the Programme was ready and approved by our Task Force. A picture of the weak as well as strong points and challenges of the area have been depicted. According to the analysis, the Adriatic-Ionian region stands out as a diverse and multifaced area with great potential as well as lots of disparities. Internal inqualities within the area have been detected as one of the aspects that are needed to be fully addressed. The territorial analysis highlighted some important issues that could improve the quality of life of the citizens living in the area as well as increase the economic growth:

  • the cities are to be considered as hubs for innovation and growth
  • investments on R&D are crucial for the development of innovative services
  • upskilling and re-skilling of the working force help reduce job mismatched
  • youth unemployment and ageing population are area’s main social weaknesses
  • digitalisation can help increase the economic income of some sectors, like tourism

The territorial analysis underlined an important factor which is globally relevant and particularly in the Adriatic-Ionian area, where natural resources are overexploited and renewable energies can play an important role: the focus on the protection of biodiversity and nature conservation. The analysis highlights the need for:

  • decarbonisation
  • switch to renewable energy sources

Given the fact that the ADRION region has great potential for the development of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, it performs below the EU average as for eco-innovation and energy efficiency.


Based on the outcomes of the territorial analysis, the Task Force has identified programme priorities and specific objectives that are considered worth to be supported in the post-2020 transnational context.

Preliminary identified ADRION Policy Objectives:

  1. A smarter Europe by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation.
  2. A greener, low-carbon Europe by promoting clean and fair energy transition, green and blue investment, the circular economy, climate adaptation and risk prevention and management.
  3. A more connected Europe by enhancing mobility and regional ICT connectivity.
  4. Enhance institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders to implement macro-regional strategies and sea-basin strategies


A public and stakeholders’ consultation was organised in order to receive feedback from citizens, as well as Programme stakeholders on the relevance of the Policy Objective preliminary identified by the Task Force for ADRION post 2020.

Stakeholders events were also organised in order to raise the discussion on ADRION post-2020 and ease the compilation of the stakeholders survey targeted to experts involved in each specific Priority Objective (PO). These informative events took place as follows:

28th October 2020 for PO 3 – online

4th November 2020 for PO 2 – online

12th November 2020 for PO 1 – online

While we keep supporting the 56 projects running within the current programming period as well as finalising the contracts of the project selected under the 3rd Calls projects , the programming of the post-2020 future will intensify over the course of this year. So, stay tuned for updates!

Meanwhile, the Programme has reached some important achievements we are proud to share with you through this infographic.