During the 2017 Mediterranean Coast and EU Macro-regional Strategies Week the EU Macro-regional Strategies Conference on Media and Communication– Know Thy Neighbour brouht together for the first time media people, practicians, academia, general public and interested stakeholders from the four EU macroregional strategies (Baltic, Danube, Adriatic-Ionian and Alpine) to discuss how to improve the visibility of macro-regional strategies in the public sphere and how to strengthen the media support to macro-regional endeavours.
As globalisation has made countries more interdependent problems must now be addressed across borders. This calls for a reflection on how macro-regions, as new functional areas, can contribute to improving the implementation of EU policies.
The emergence of macro-regional strategies (MRS) has been driven by a number of EU countries and regions as a complement to traditional national policies on territorial management. Macro-regional strategies provide regional building blocks for pursuing EU-wide policy, marshalling national approaches into a more coherent implementation at the EU level.
Without proactive communication, no effort is really seen from the outside, by the EU citizens and stakeholders.
During the Slovenian presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) in 2016, a proposal to create a single horizontal pillar for all 4 EU macro-regional strategies was presented – "the media/communication" pillar – that would help creating sufficient visibility for macro-regional strategies' joint endeavours and understanding, and support for the exchange of ways of thinking and acting within the macro regions.
In this common challenge, the media play a crucial role. As the macro-regional strategies address a functional area that is bigger than regional and national areas, and smaller than the EU, the visibility and recognition of macro-regional effects crucially depend on access to all media communication channels in the region.
At the media and communication conference “Know Thy Neighbour” recommendations were built around 3 topics:
To implement the recommendations it was concluded that the Macroregional strategies High Level Group (EU28) should:
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Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development
Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning
Reform of the Public Sector
Fisheries and Maritime