Brussels, 26 November 2012
Europe In Action: The EU's Danube Strategy One Year On
The First Annual Forum of the Danube Strategy in Regensburg, Bavaria will be celebrating the results of the first year of the Danube Strategy. Co-hosted by Bavaria and EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend and deliver the key note speech.
The Danube Strategy is finding common solutions across 14 countries to shared challenges in fields from transport to security, tourism to environment, energy, employment and growth.
Before the Forum on November 27-28, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said, "I am convinced that this Strategy is making a major contribution to the competitiveness of this part of Europe. Projects are gathering momentum and are already delivering results. In Regensburg we will be discussing how to make the strategy as effective as possible in bringing changes that will have a real impact on the lives of people throughout the region: now and in the EU's next spending period."
Representatives from the 14 countries involved in the Strategy, including numerous Ministers and State Secretaries will be attending the Annual Forum to take stock and plot the way ahead. Alongside them will be leading figures from the private sector, regional business, civil society, and academics. Chancellor Merkel will join them on November 28th for the keynote speech at 14:15.
Launched on 13 April 2011, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is bringing about closer cooperation between countries and regions across the Danube Macro-Region. The aim is to put in place strategic investment in key areas and create networks to bring together not only political administrations, but entrepreneurs, small businesses, and researchers, and develop co operation in areas like security and tourism.
The Strategy has already helped to bring about key initiatives and projects which include:
The Memorandum of Understanding between Romania and Bulgaria on navigation of the Danube.
The Danube Region Gas Market Model where results are so encouraging they aim to extend EU-wide.
Danube Tourism: One Brand - Innovative marketing of the Macro-Region with a sustainable boat and bicycle concept and a new cruise fleet already under construction.
Law enforcement: where regions are working with Europol on projects including the identification of organised crime and tackling corruption in the Danube region
Danube Flood Risk Project: 19 institutions along 8 countries participating to "floodmap" and protect the region.
The Danube Business Forum: the first networking platform for small and medium sized businesses in the regions: 300 SMES are involved.
Innovative vessels project: developing sustainable transport on the Danube. New technological solutions with the Commission's department for Research and Innovation.
The European Council has asked the Commission to deliver its first progress report on the Danube Strategy by June 2013. In preparation of that, the Commission will present its Reflection Paper at the Forum in Regensburg on results so far and how to improve the Strategy's performance for the future.
The countries involved in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region are: Germany (Baden‑Württemberg and Bavaria), Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Moldova, and Ukraine.
EU Strategy for the Danube Region: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/cooperate/danube/index_en.cfm
Conference Programme and Webstreaming:
Reflection Paper on the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region:
Follow EU_Regional on Twitter - #EUSDR
Shirin Wheeler (+32 2 296 65 65)
Annemarie Huber (+32 2 299 33 10)