Region of Ionian Islands
Since January 1st 2011 an extensive reformation act under the name of “Kallikratis” has been implemented in Greece, as far as local and regional public administration bodies are concerned, according to which all the Greek Prefectures have been incorporated into the already existing Regions. After that the Region of Ionian Islands consists of 4 Regional Units. Regional Unit of Corfu former Prefecture of Corfu, Regional Unit of Lefkas former Prefecture of Lefkas, Regional Unit of Cephalonia & Ithaca former Prefecture of Cephalonia & Ithaca, and Regional Unit of Zakynthos former Prefecture of Zakynthos. Along with West Greece and Peloponnese regions, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, West Greece and the Ionian Islands based at Patras. The region headquarters are based at Corfu. The Region consists of 6 Directorates General, namely D.G. of Internal Administration, D.G. of Strategic Planning, Environment & Infrastructure, D.G. of Rural Development & Animal Farming, G.D. of Economic Growth, G.D. of Transport & Communication and D.G. of Public Health & Social Welfare. A staff of around 250 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 Regional Unit to develop, implement, and integrate innovative Projects.
Moreover, either as former Prefectures or Region now, has been awarded managerial competence to administrate and coordinate state financial flows and projects of high importance. 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 Regional Unit’s successful operations. The expertise our personnel have gained through their many years of professional experience guarantees the quality of its services. The collaboration with external experts enhances the Regional Unit’s capabilities and the depth of its activities. This constitutes a highly motivating and a truly productive environment.
More specifically, the Regional Unit of Corfu as an example (under the auspices of the former “Prefecture”) has already managed 13 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)
- “ITNet” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “SEALINK” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “INTRAFLOWS” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “POPULAR” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “TRIAnet” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “La Bottega delle Voci- L΄OPERA dei Giovani” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “La Bottega delle Voci-Centro di Produzione TEATRALE (A.I.G.S.C)” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “TERRE PARLANTI” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “Sul Cammino di Enea” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “Intra_radar” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ITALY)
- “Medisolae 3D” (INTERREG IIIB ARCHIMED)
- “NETWORKING OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES” (INTERREG IIIA GREECE ALBANIA)
As the successor of the Prefectures, Region of Ionian Islands has 14 new projects to manage (total budget 8.235.670,37 €), in the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece- Italy, which are:
- NET LAM
- NO BARRIER
- LA BOTTEGA II
- MED LS
- GRIT CUZINE
in the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece- Albania, which are:
The population of the Ionian Islands in 2011 was 207,855, decreased by 1,50% compared to the population in 2001. Nevertheless, the region remains the third by population density with 90.1 p /km² nationwide, well above the national of 81.96 p/km². The most populous of the major islands is Corfu with a population of 104,371, followed by Zante (40,759), Cephalonia (35,801), Lefkas (23.693) and Ithaca (3.231). The foreign-born population was in 2001 19,360 or 9.3%, the majority of which was concentrated in Corfu and Zante. Most of them originate from Albania (13,536). The fertility rate for 2011 according to Eurostat was 1.35 live births per woman.
The region is a popular tourist destination. The airports of Corfu, Zante and Cephalonia were in the top ten in Greece by number of international arrivals, with 1,386,289 international arrivals for 2012, with Corfu being the sixth airport by number of arrivals nationwide, while Zante and Cephalonia also being in the top ten.