IPA Adriatic is a valuable and effective European cross-border cooperation programme, not only for the strategic and political integration and development of the territories that are part of the programme that represents the Adriatic area, but also for the future of the EU itself, stimulating the growth of emerging countries for example. The opinion of the President of the Abruzzo Region, Gianni Chiodi, on the EU initiative ”CBC IPA Adriatic" (2007-2013) is based on this important statement. The Abruzzo Region plays a leading role in the programme, as it did in the previous Interreg IIIA programme (2000-2006). The views of the young ”leading” governor who guides a centre-right coalition are presented in this interview. What is the most important strength of IPA Adriatic and what do you think of the initiatives taken so far by the EU cross-border cooperation programme, particularly in the light of the selection of the first 32 development projects that have been financed with a total of 75 million, 25 for each of the three categories? ”The most important strength of IPA is its systematic action and the achievement of financial interventions, both with Structural and National Funds in the Adriatic Area, in strategic sectors like transport, SMEs, tourism and most importantly the environment. Particular attention is given to the sea, which represents the element that defines cooperation in the Adriatic Area”. What are the expectations regarding the present EU programme, particularly regarding the 2007-2013 IPA Adriatic Trans-border Programme? ”The expectations of the Programme in the current EU programme are based on the possibilities of integration with the Cooperation objective in European context, in which the IPA Adriatic Programme is funded as to other political EU and member State political structures”. What has been the impact on regional level of the 2000-2006 Cooperation Programmes in your opinion, the Adriatic Trans-Border programme in particular? ”The impact of the Cooperation programme, the Trans-Border programme in particular, has not so much been a financial one, despite the fact that it was considerable, I underline that the Programme has a value of around 290 million euros, but it has been particularly important for the strategic and political integration of the involved territories, which are the seven Adriatic regions and the seven States on the Adriatic shore, of which two Member States and five States in a phase of accession and pre-accession”. Referring to the EU2014-2020 Programming, what is the position of the Region you lead on the important issues of the Adriatic Euro-region, the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region and the new implementation instruments? ”The Abruzzo Region has played the important role of Management Authority in the previous 2000-2006 programming, and again in the current 2007-2013 period. It defines the Programmes and coordinates their strategic goals with the other States. The most important goal since the start of the Interreg Programme, and confirmed by the IPA Programme, is the constitution of an Adriatic Macro Region, so in some way we have been the forerunners of what has later become the EU’s enlargement policy, much-discussed ahead of the future of cohesion policies, that is the Adriatic Macro Region. My Region has believed in these territorial and strategic developments since the beginning, actively participating in the constitution of the Euro Adriatic Region, but most of all guaranteeing that, through the implementation of the IPA Adriatic Programme, the strategic goal of the Adriatic Macro Region is reached and consolidated in the eyes of the various territories. The Adriatic Macro Region will be the ideal place for the future of political cohesion, as indicated in Europe 2020, to define and implement cooperation and neighbourhood policies for better geographical and economic integration of the involved territories, but also resolving aspects of marginality of these territories, like the border and inland areas that suffer more than others from a lack of social-economic cohesion”. What is ”your” Region’s stance on the prospects of EU enlargement (new memberships and relative added value on Adriatic territory)? ”The experience we have gained in this period and the continuous daily work with the other member States that are involved in the IPA Adriatic Programme has made giant leaps forwards in a logic of European integration. I think for example of the progress made by Albania rather than by Montenegro, compared with the other States that were already in an advanced pre-accession phase. I believe that the three member States that participate in the Programme must make sure that the EU will become a joint element amid all Adriatic territories, in order to make this cooperation more durable. Only that way we will be able to consolidate the cooperation achieved in these programme periods and avoid dispersing the results that have been obtained in terms of integration and economic cohesion”.
Source: Vecchio sito IPA