The European Union Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region

  • Battistina Cugusi
  • Andrea Stocchiero
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


Since the launch of the first macro-regional strategy in the Baltic Sea Region in 2009, many other cross-border regions and macro-regions have expressed their interest in defining their own strategy, with the macro-regional vogue eventually reaching the Mediterranean area (Cugusi and Stocchiero, 2012). In December 2012, the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) was launched, and was subsequently endorsed by the European Council in September 2014; a debate is going on as to the possibility of diffusing such macro-regional approaches to other Mediterranean areas. However, it is not as if the expansion of projects under the banner of ‘macro-regions’ was a neat and uniform process; the origins of all existing macro-regions are highly diverse, since ‘there has been no regulation to support the concept. This has meant that there is also a certain level of uncertainty amongst member states and also sub-national actors to what extent and into what direction the concept will develop’ (Van der Zwet and McMaster, 2012, p. 14). EU macro-regions are identified according to a functional approach, in order to respond to common cross-border challenges and opportunities that require collective action (Stocchiero, 2010). The concept of functional macro-regions links areas according to ‘mutual interdependence’ and ‘spatial coherence’, meaning that factors such as specific transnational interde– pendencies, material and immaterial flows, hard and soft linkages all qualify the geographical scale and contents of a macro-region (Stocchiero, 2010).


European Council Cohesion Policy Western Balkan Country Governance Challenge European Neighbourhood Policy 


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© Battistina Cugusi and Andrea Stocchiero 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Battistina Cugusi
  • Andrea Stocchiero

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