EU financing for a sustainable future in the Ionian Islands

All scientific studies concur that this next decade is critical for the transition towards sustainable development. The extent to which the transition will take place is dependent on decisions taken today and on actions implemented through 2030.

Decisions must lead to transformative change in policy and in practice, particularly of those sectors, such as agriculture, energy and tourism, that have the greatest impact on the islands’ natural environment.

The challenges and opportunities at hand are of paramount importance. From this new 2021-2027 programming period, Greece will have at its disposal development funding resources for the first time since the climax of the financial crisis. Given the urge for growth and development, it is possible that the selection of strategic priorities and projects will follow a business-as-usual track, irrespective of the environmental impact such a selection may have. Such a scenario is likely given that Greece has not been at the forefront of sustainable development and the relevant authorities at all levels lack knowledge, understanding and capacity on the massive potential for sustainable development. In such a scenario the country as a whole, risks losing the last chance available to make use of the EU funds to transform the development model and contribute to the global Sustainable Development Goals Agenda for 2030.

The project aims to support the relevant authorities and stakeholders during the upcoming preparatory phase in order for them to utilize the available opportunities and pave the way for the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades and the Peloponnese to join an environmental sustainability trajectory by 2030. Furthermore, the project also has a high degree of replicability, particularly in other regions of Greece, since some of the analysis is relevant to the whole country.

Who exactly is addressed?

Specifically, the project aims to involve and inform key stakeholders at the national and regional levels about the sustainability potential of the Cyclades and Ionian regions during the 2021-2027 programming period. In this context, the project will support the building of the capacity of these authorities as well as of:

  • members of the Greek Parliament and of the European Parliament
  • local communities

  • NGOs and local organizations.

In parallel, during the implementation of the project, opportunities will be sought to cultivate synergies with these stakeholders, that will influence not only the design and planning of the new programming period, but also its implementation and its monitoring.

The project is carried out in conjunction and partnership with the Cyclades Preservation Fund, Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation, also focusing on the regions of the Cycladic Islands and the Peloponnese.