Macro-regional strategies

A “macro-regional strategy” is an integrated framework endorsed by the European Council, which can be supported, inter alia, by the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area encompassing both EU Member States and third countries, thus benefiting from enhanced cooperation contributing to economic, social and territorial cohesion.

EU macro-regional strategies address challenges and opportunities peculiar to geographical areas that are too local in scope to be of interest to the whole EU, yet too broad to be effectively addressed at a national level. In other words, they bridge EU and local policies.

To date, four EU macro-regional strategies have been adopted, each one accompanied by a progressive action plan to be regularly updated in light of emerging needs and changing context: the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009), the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2010), the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (2014), and the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (2015).

These strategies involve over 340 million people and 19 EU Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Sweden and 8 non-EU Countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

Some EU Countries (e.g. Germany and Slovenia) are involved in three strategies, while Croatia, Italy and Austria are covered by two strategies. In particular, Italy is involved in the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, and the Alpine Region Strategy.