Adriatic Ionian Programme 2014-2020

On 17th December 2013 the EU Cohesion policy package 2014-2020 was finally adopted following two years of negotiation between the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Thus six new EU regulations came into live, defining the conditions for investing EUR 325,15 billion to support a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. Among these was Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 relating to the European Regional Development Fund and the European Territorial Cooperation Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013. These are the regulations setting the rules for the three new programmes succeeding South East Europe programme in the next seven years: ADRION, Balkan-Mediterranean, and Danube.

The ADRION Programme (2014-2020) is built around four thematic priority axes:

  • Innovative and smart region
    • Specific objective: to support the development of a regional innovation system for the Adriatic-Ionian area;
  • Sustainable region
    • Specific objective: promote the sustainable valorisation and preservation of natural and cultural assets as growth assets in the Adriatic-Ionian area;
    • Specific objective: enhance the capacity in transnationally tacking environmental vulnerability, fragmentation and the safeguarding of ecosystem services in the Adriatic-Ionian area;
  • Connected region
    • Specific objective: enhance capacity for integrated transport and mobility services and multimodality in the Adriatic-Ionian area;
  • Supporting the governance of EUSAIR
    • Specific objective: Facilitate the coordination and implementation of the EUSAIR by enhancing institutional capacity of public administrations and key stakeholders and by assisting the progress of implementation of joint priorities.

The programme will invest EUR 83,5 million from the ERDF and EUR 15,7 million from IPA II for transnational projects in the Adriatic-Ionian area. Eligible partners will, therefore, come from 4 EU countries: Croatia, Greece, part of Italy, Slovenia, and 4 non-EU countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Guidance on the eligible transnational activities and expected outputs can be found in the final draft of the operational programme text. The zipped filed contains the text of the programme, territorial analysis, public consultation results, and ex-ante evaluation.

The programme text was submitted to the European Commission on 18 December 2014 and awaits approval in 2015.

Interesting facts about the development of the Adriatic-Ionian Programme were disclosed at the SEE Annual Event 2014.


The preparation of the operational programme documents is in the hands of the Programme Task Force, which comprises representatives of each partner country. The TF engages in dialogue with relevant stakeholders at national level and regional level, as well as the EUSAIR. TF members subcontracted the drafting of the operational programme and the ex-ante & environmental assessment to external experts. Nevertheless, they will be the one endorsing the final version of the documents before submission to the European Commission.

The ADRION TF convened on 17 October 2013 in Corfu (Greece); 18 December 2013 in Ljubljana (Slovenia); 1 April 2014 in Zagreb (Croatia); 23 May 2014 in Belgrade (Serbia); 21 and 22 July 2014 in Bologna (Italy); 4 September 2014 in Ancona (Italy); 19 September 2014 in Brussels (Belgium); 9 and 10 October 2014 in Thessaloniki (Greece); 10 and 11 December in Zagreb (Croatia); 21 January 2015 in Ancona (Italy).

While the Joint Secretariat team is in recruitment phase, information on the programme can be obtained via and the newly setup online platforms and



The European Council of December 2012 mandated the European Commission to initiate a macro-regional strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region. This strategy builds on the Maritime Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Seas adopted by the European Commission on 30 November 2012. The European Commission officially launched last 18 June 2014 a new EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region in the form of a Communication and an Action Plan, to help its 70 million residents to reap the benefit of closer cooperation in areas like promoting the maritime economy, preserving the marine environment, completing transport and energy links and boosting sustainable tourism.

More information about the Strategy:

- European Commission website section concerning the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region

- EU Stategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region Official website: