The 8th annual EU Strategy Forum for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) starts today in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and runs until Thursday 25 May.

The three-day forum, which is co-organized by the Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina, will discuss various issues concerning the region.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Regional Development of the participating countries will discuss EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, youth policies, ways to reverse the “brain drain” and achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal in the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region. The forum also hosts the Interreg Youth Conference, where representatives of universities and youth associations will discuss the priorities of their regions, and an innovation workshop exploring the possibilities of enhancing smart specialization for sustainability in the Adriatic-Ionian macro-region .

The forum is a platform for dialogue where the public and interested parties can express their expectations and ideas. Bosnia and Herzegovina holds the presidency of EUSAIR until 31 May 2023, when Croatia will take over.

EUSAIR was established in October 2014 and covers ten countries with a population of over 70 million inhabitants: four EU Member States (Greece, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia), five candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia) and a third country, Agios Marino. Together, they work together to address common challenges in four pillars: Blue growth, Interconnection of the region (transport and energy), Environmental quality and Sustainable tourism.

Nikos Andritsos