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Cooperation needs strengthening, Ferreira tells EUSAIR forum

Young people, Green Deal, enlargement are the event's priorities

(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 18 - Elisa Ferreira, the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, highlighted the need to strengthen cooperation as she addressed the 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) in Tirana.
    EUSAIR is made up four EU Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy and Slovenia), five non-EU States of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) and, as of this year, San Marino "Today we need cooperation more than ever," Ferreira said.
    "It's needed for the economic recovery from the pandemic, for a response to Russian aggression, for support for Ukrainian refugees and for a climate crisis that obliges us to change our economy and way of living radically".
    This forum is focusing on young people because 2022 is the European Year of Youth and Tirana is in the European Capital of Youth.
    Other priorities are the Green Deal and the enlargement of the EU to the Western Balkans.
    "All these challenges require us to work together," Ferreira concluded.
    "(We must do this) on the basis of our shared European values, from democracy to the rule of law, and of a common commitment to solidarity and convergence and out of the conviction that cooperation is the only road for a better future".
    According to the TEVI 2050 study by the ESPON European cooperation programme specializing in regional analysis, the territory within the macroregion will be increasingly affected by inequalities fed by an incomplete transition to a sustainable economy, by depopulation and by the digital divide.
    The researchers observed that, by 2050, there will be places fit for the measures of the European Green Deal, as they will have transformed their economy and society, deriving benefits from the development of "blue" technologies regarding the sea.
    A series of factors, however, will stop many areas within the macroregion from making the most of their potential to achieve the Green Deal goals.
    In the hypothesized scenario, natural, tourism and rural areas are the most vulnerable, as well as transport hubs.
    Natural areas in particular will feel most the impact of climate change and the main challenge will stem from biodiversity loss.
    The same is true for tourism areas which, as a consequence, will see their attractiveness reduced with respect to destinations of a higher environmental quality.
    Biodiversity loss will have negative effects on agriculture in rural areas, which will also be exposed to declining populations.
    Transport hubs, meanwhile, will have to make massive investments in the transformation towards more sustainable mobility. (ANSA).


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