Priority 3
Supporting a carbon neutral and better-connected Adriatic-Ionian region


Specific objective:
3.1 Developing and enhancing sustainable, climate resilient, intelligent and intermodal national, regional and local mobility, including improved access to TEN-T and cross-border mobility

The position of the Adriatic-Ionian region is highly strategic in terms of transport and mobility for both people and goods . Nevertheless, it is still characterised by several territorial discontinuities that are a direct consequence of its geomorphological structure and history and hamper the full exploitation of its socioeconomic and environmental potential. A central role in the region is undoubtedly played by its maritime dimension. In fact, the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, with more than 350 registered ports, could potentially constitute a relevant interconnection hub particularly for freight transport. Almost all the ports are located alongside regional multi-modal transport corridors (including the TEN-T Core Network Corridors) and, therefore, represent key nodes for the development of integrated maritime, rail and road connections.
The lack of a reliable railway system in a large portion of the Adriatic-Ionian region hinders the creation of an integrated and resilient transport infrastructure. Multimodal transport is particularly limited, curbing the potential exchange of goods from the coast to the hinterland and vice-versa. Missing links in last mile connections between ports and intermodal terminals and along the network also affect the overall capacity of the transport system. In addition, transnational transport – both between Adriatic-Ionian countries and the neighbouring ones – is further slowed down by lengthy customs clearance procedures at the borders.

Transnational cooperation contribution IPA ADRION will support actions in the following thematic fields:

Intermodal last mile connections

Alternative clean fuels supply facilities, particularly in sea ports

Intelligent transport system technologies/solutions for multimodal transport

Dematerialization of transport paper procedures

Granted actions will contribute to the implementation of the relevant framework EU policies, i.e.: the European Green Deal, the Joint Transition Fund, EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

Proposed indicative actions (non-exhaustive list):

Set in place transnational cooperation actions to develop and/or improve sustainable smart mobility systems to strengthen urban-rural linkages and implement innovative sustainable transport solutions, including forms of participatory governance to improve multimodal and low carbon mobility for passengers, tourists, and commuters of the Adriatic-Ionian region.
Develop and test innovative planning tools/solutions forecasting future demand for public transport in view of the impact caused by current socio-demographic changes and present pandemic situation on intermodal national, regional and local mobility.
Support environmental performance and energy efficiency for low carbon port systems and related infrastructures – such as noise reduction, air quality, decrease of CO2 emissions – through the adoption of pilot actions testing innovative technologies, circular economy solutions, energy sustainability and harmonised regulatory standards for maritime/river transport.
Strengthen the role of the Adriatic-Ionian transport sector within the upcoming TEN-T policy through pilot actions and the implementation of shared solutions aimed at boosting the role of ICT, in particular with regard to the dematerialization of transport procedures, especially in maritime port areas.
Enhance the development of the Motorways of the Seas (MoS) concept as an alternative to overstretched land transport through targeted strategies and action plans, aimed at making full use of maritime transport resources as well as inland waterways in the logistics chain. 6. Implement transnational integrated action plans supporting the development of rail-sea transportation intended as intermodal and multimodal transport mode.
Support the increase of Short Sea Shipping (SSS) in the Adriatic-Ionian Sea basin as a sustainable transport mode through joint developed actions, including the promotion of the use of alternative fuels/modes and last / first mile environmentally friendly solutions.
Map infrastructural, technological, legislative gaps and barriers to freight circulation including the legal and administrative variances hampering the efficiency of smooth transnational transport, in order to create a common transnational transport policy framework.
Improve accessibility within the Adriatic-Ionian region, with a focus on peripheral areas, to the TEN-T network through the implementation of action plans, tackling the bottlenecks hampering the transport’s sector growth and economic development.

Expected results

Proposed transnational actions will contribute to the identification of new, shared, environmentally sustainable multimodal transport solutions and to the reduction of distance gaps characterising some areas/destinations. Additionally, they will encourage new transport concepts following the pandemic crisis. Transnational cooperation will also encourage ways to minimise legal or administrative obstacles currently slowing down transport procedures in particular in seaports. Finally, cooperation will increase the number of ports cooperating among themselves and involved in solutions aimed at their up-scaling in particular with regard to their environmental impact. Proposed actions will also contribute to increasing awareness and knowledge among relevant organisations, in particular seaports, and to identify new strategies to contribute to the EU Green Deal goals. Granted outcomes will also act as leverage for potential further actions at cross-border and national/regional/local level.