The EUSAIR Conference “The Future Of The European Union Strategy For The Adriatic-Ionian Region: Macro-Regional Policies For Companies, Communities And Institutions”, organized by the Italian National Authorities in Charge of Cohesion Policy and Marche Region, Italian Project Partner of EUSAIR Facility Point, took place on April 7 in Ancona (Italy).


EU, national and local authorities representatives discussed how to strengthen the governance of the EUSAIR, how the Strategy’s actions can stimulate contacts and exchanges of good practices between EU member States and Western Balkans favouring the convergence of processes, strategies and national and European funds.

AII Secretary General, Amb. Castellaneta, joined the first session of the conference focused on the enlargement process and the European integration in the Western Balkans – “A brand new vision of Europe. EUSAIR and the enlargement process”.

The experts engaged in the panel debated the current situation of the integration process and its implementation in a European political framework in constant and quick evolution.

Amb. Castellaneta called for an acceleration in the integration process of the Western Balkans with a road map that foresees the convening of the Intergovernmental Conferences for Albania and North Macedonia and the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the candidate status. AII SG also pointed out the contribution of the AII as a springboard for cultural and social exchanges, also increasingly involving the younger generations, reinforcing that sense of belonging to a common European space (here the full speech).

The first session was also joined by Gilles Kittel (DG REGIO, European Commission), Cons. Andrea Cascone (Director of the Adriatic and the Balkans Division and AII/EUSAIR National Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy), Amb. Ilir Melo (Director of Regional Affairs - Ministry of European Integration and Foreign Affairs, AII/EUSAIR National Coordinator, Albania), Amb. Miranda Sidran (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Head of Department for Regional initiative Co-Coordinator of BiH Presidency AII/EUSAIR), Erblin Berisha (Post-Doc Research Fellow, Polytechnic University of Turin), Umberto Trenta (Marche Region Counselor for the EUSAIR).

The second session focused the opportunities offered by the European funds programming period 2021-2027 of European funds, in the framework of the Cohesion Policy. In the third panel speakers analyzed the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) - “Interreg” - a tool for strengthening relationships among EU countries, with a particular focus on trans-boundary regions.