Austrian Regional Strategy - Danube area/Western Balkans region

This regional strategy on the “Danube Region/ Western Balkans” has been prompted by the growing convergence of Austria’s foreign, economic, security and development interests in the Danube Region/ Western Balkans and the need to rekindle the reform dynamics fostering both regional integration and EU integration. The regional strategy is meant to be complementary to the existent bilateral country strategies for Albania and Kosovo* and has been elaborated with a whole-of-government perspective.  

The reform partnership with six countries in the Western Balkans and with the Republic of Moldova (MD) is based on the following two foreign and development policy objectives:

  1.  Strengthening the regional cooperation
  2. Supporting the EU-accession

and on three thematic priority areas:

  1. Economy and Development: Focusing on employment
  2. Education: Focusing on labour market-oriented, socially inclusive vocational education and higher education
  3. Governance, Human Rights and the Rule of Law: institution-building in the context of EU-accession.

Cross-cutting issues: Gender equality, social inclusion, environment and climate change, emphasizing on a human rights-based approach as a basic principle of the 3-Year Program (3YP) of Austrian development policy for all priorities, cross-cutting issues and development projects.

With these priorities, the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) creates a positive perspective for an inclusive broad growth for the people in the Western Balkans region (WBR) and MD as well as for those citizens of the WBR and MD returning from abroad. Against the background of increasing global extremism and terrorism, this cooperation strategy should also contribute to an increased migration policy cooperation with the transit countries of WBR and MD, including the committments from the EU- respectedly bilateral Agreements, concluded with the countries of the region, on Readmission of their own citizens. The newly established whole-ofgovernment based consultation process in Austria and in the partner countries makes it possible to react in a rapid and flexible manner to new developments and humanitarian crisis in the context of migration.

The Development Goals of the United Nations form the common development policy framework. In the spirit of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (also: Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs) the principle of sustainability should be implemented in a
balanced way through the three social, environmental and economic pillars. Following the guiding principle of the 2030 Agenda - “leave no one behind” - special attention should be paid to gender equality and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups such as people with
disabilities, children and ethnic or religious minorities.

Source: ADA

Document type
  • Policy/Strategy


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Austria
  • Danube Macroregion
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Anna Sirocco on July 28, 2016
Modified on July 28, 2016