Macro-regional strategies

The concept of macro-regional strategy was born in 2009 and has since been adopted in EU jargon as a term indicating “an integrated framework that allows the European Union and Member States to identify needs, and match them to available resources through coordination of appropriate policies” (European Commission definition).

Indeed, in some European regions, such as, for example, the Alpine region, many initiatives tackle area-specific and global challenges. European programmes, international organisations, public authorities, private actors and other entities offer different approaches, means and solutions to these challenges. A macro-regional strategy provides the framework for coordinating all these initiatives and to bring concrete answers from a local and regional perspective, to the wider European level.

Macro-regional strategies do not rely on any additional EU funding. One of the challenges of the involved states and regions is thus to align existing resources with the aims of their strategy. In other words, macro-regional strategies can help find ways to better use existing resources, legislation and structures for the benefit of the whole region.

There are currently 3 macro-regional strategies employed across Europe:

1. Baltic Sea

2. Danube

3. Adriatic-Ionian Sea

The Alpine area has recently taken steps to create its own macroregional strategy. Read more about it here.