Regione Abruzzo, Direzione Affari della Presidenza, Politiche Legislative e Comunitarie Programmazione, Italy
The IPA Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation Programme is the result of joint programming work carried out by the relevant participating countries and is part of the cooperation process in the Adriatic area. The Programme draws its strength and incisiveness from the wide experience, gained during the previous Programme period producing concrete results from the studies and analysis financed in the past. Many factors make cooperation in the Adriatic area important today, particularly from a political and economic point of view: factors connected to geographic and cultural proximity which make possible the intensification of multilateral relationships among Adriatic coastal regions to support local processes of harmonious growth, sustainable development and unity among peoples. Factors connected to the political stability of the area. Following ten years of conflict, the area is now moving towards progressive integration both "vertical" (within European and International institutions) and "horizontal" through the creation of a free trade area.