EU Strategy for the Danube Region at "Inforegio" website

On February 3, 2011 in Budapest, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, together with Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, announced which countries and regions will coordinate the priority areas of work for the EU Strategy for the Danube Region...

What’s the issue?

The Danube region covers parts of 8 EU countries (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania) and 6 non-EU countries (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova).
The region is facing several challenges:

    • environmental threats (water pollution, floods, climate change)
    • untapped shipping potential and lack of road and rail transport connections
    • insufficient energy connections
    • uneven socio-economic development
    • uncoordinated education, research and innovation systems
    • shortcomings in safety and security

Better coordination and cooperation between the countries and regions is needed to address these challenges.


Who will benefit and how?

The 115 million people living in the Danube Region will benefit from:

    • faster transport by road and rail
    • cleaner transport by improving the navigability of rivers
    • cheaper and more secure energy thanks to better connections and alternative sources
    • a better environment with cleaner water, protected biodiversity, and cross-border  flood prevention
    • a prosperous region, through working together on the economy, education, social inclusion, and research and innovation
    • attractive tourist and cultural destinations, developed and marketed jointly
    • a safer, well-governed region, thanks to better cooperation and coordination of government and non-governmental organisations

What exactly would change?

The EU has identified 11 priority areas, which will focus on improving:

    • transport connections
    • energy connections
    • the environment
    • socio-economic development
    • security

Although the strategy will not come with extra EU finance, a considerable amount of funding is already available to the region through a host of EU programmes. For instance, € 100 billion alone has been allocated from the cohesion policy (European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Social Fund) between 2007 and 2013. Moreover, 41 Territorial Cooperation programmes cover a geographical area including the Danube Region.
The aim is to use this available support to greater effect and show how macro-regional cooperation can help tackle local problems.

Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • International; Other
  • Montenegro
  • SEE
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on April 13, 2011
Modified on April 3, 2012