Region of Ionian Islands Regional Unit of Corfù

The Region of Ionian Islands is a public body that forms an independent decentralized Administrative Unit of the Greek Government. Its main competence is to plan, program, coordinate and implement the National Policies for the financial, social and cultural development of the region.

  • The Region is also an Administrative Unit composed of departments, public authorities and offices. It has a specific administrative structure on top of which is the Governor, who is elected locally and is responsible for the implementation of the strategic policies which concern the Region.
  • A staff of around 180 employees of higher education covers an extensive scope of expertise, such as geology, environmental engineering, agriculture, animal farming, fish farming, rural topography, mechanical, electrical, chemical and civil engineering, electronics, informatics, infrastructure engineering, chemical engineering, food technology, health & welfare, social service, organisation and administration of local authorities and financial planning and management.
  • As a public body, it has developed capabilities through successive years of experience in various fields of cross-border cooperation projects. The use of modern equipment and instrumentation devices adds to the cost efficiency and high quality of services it provides. The practical experience of the personnel and their know-how on business operations allows the Region of Ionian Islands to develop, implement, and integrate innovative Projects. It has also been certified with the ISO 9001 quality management standard as far as the fields of Project Management, Construction, Financial Management, Informatics and Spatial Planning are concerned. Technical versatility, know-how, and organizational flexibility are significant elements of the Region's successful operations. The expertise our personnel have gained through their many years of professional experience guarantees the quality of its services.

Geographical Position
The Region of Ionian Islands is a geographical section with specific borders, area, population and headquarters. More specifically, it covers a total surface of 2.318, which amounts to 1,8% of the total area of Greece and a population of approximately 206,000 inhabitants (2001 census). The Region consists of 32 islands, of which 13 are populated: Othoni, Erikousa, Mathraki, Kerkira, Paxi, Antipaxi, Lefkada, Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Ithaki, Kefalonia and Zakinthos. The above islands are spread along the western side of the Greek mainland, forming an island bridge which joins Greece, and by extension the East, with Italy and Western Europe.

Local Economy
As far as local economy is concerned in the Region of Ionian Islands there has been a turn towards the tertiary sector, especially tourism, which has reduced the islands’ contribution to the regional product in the primary and secondary sectors of production. The primary sector in the Ionian Islands is the second most important sector in the Region, just below tourism. It involves agriculture (olive groves, vineyards, organic farming), livestock farming (meat and dairy products) and fisheries. The secondary sector is developing with a slow rate and demonstrates manufacture oriented towards local and traditional products, i.e. mining/production of building materials, tourist goods, etc. The tertiary sector in the Region of the Ionian Islands includes activities in the fields of trade, transportation and services.

Interest in participating in the project
It is a fact that there has been a strong rise in the tertiary sector, mainly tourism, during the last decades, which has subsequently led to a considerable drop in the other sectors, mostly concerning agricultural activity and produce. The Region of Ionian Islands has an extensive set of natural resources and a produce of internationally renowned traditional and typical products, many of which are labelled as DOP, along with current trends of young farmers and entrepreneurs in organic farming, artisanal manufacturing, as well as alternative and innovative agricultures. It is now a priority to develop other economic sectors, besides tourism, which will lead to a more sustainable economic development. Furthermore, the Region has a Direction for Agricultural Development, which implements actions and policies on agricultural production. In this context, the Regional Unit of Corfu has realised, among others, 3 relevant projects in the framework of the INTERREG programmes and has thus acquired experience in their management:

• “The Mediterranean Islands sustainability ISO: 9001 Action Plan (2006-2015)” (INTERREG IIIB ARCHIMED)

Moreover, the Region of Ionian Islands currently implements, among others, the following Projects, with direct relevance to agriculture and typical local products, under the Greece-Italy CBC Programme 2007-2014:
LOC PRO II: Support and promotion of local products and SMEs through ICT
ΙΝΝΟVOIL: Implementation of an innovative protocol for the valorisation of extravirgin oil
MedLS: Mediterranean Lifestyle
GrItCUZINE: Cultural gastronomic particularities: Creation of an identity of the local gastronomic heritage in the region Greece-Italy.
BIOΟLEA: Utilization of biophenols extracted from products of European olives

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