|Announcement of the Priority Area Coordinators, Budapest 3 February 2011 |
On 3 February 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.
The Priority Area Coordinators will ensure the implementation of the Action Plan by agreeing on planning, with targets, indicators and timetables, and by making sure there is effective cooperation between project promoters, programmes and funding sources. They will also provide technical assistance and advice while working in consultation with the Commission, relevant agencies and regional bodies. Each of the 11 Priority Areas is coordinated by two countries.
A Priority Area Group will be set up for each topic so that coutries can discuss, agree on the work to be done and monitor progress on the ground.
|Territorial Cooperation, key to the success of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region |
Over 40 territorial cooperation programmes are active in the Danube Region. Their task: promoting and supporting the development of cross-border and transnational projects in the area, on the EU side and with external partners. Through the setting up of networks and innovative pilot activities, cooperation projects contribute to abolishing borders and bringing regions together, for the benefit of their populations and economies. Many territorial cooperation projects are already contributing to the strategy and have been identified as illustrative projects in the Action Plan, such as the transnational projects Danubeparks and Floodrisk, financed under the Transnational Programme South-East Europe.
Territorial cooperation should therefore be fully part of the Strategy implementation. As Mr. Dirk Ahner, General Director of DG Regional Policy, said in a recent interview to INTERACT: “The Strategy is about addressing challenges and opportunities that cannot be addressed by individual countries alone and thus need joint action from several countries. Cooperation programmes will therefore play a particularly important role in implementing the Strategy, either locally at bilateral borders, or on a larger scale through the existing transnational cooperation programmes”.
|The Danube Region Strategy Labgroup |
Building on the successful experience of the Baltic Sea Region Laboratory Group, INTERACT and the European Commission are now starting a similar, informal working platform in the Danube Region.
The Labgroup brings together representatives from national and regional authorities responsible for convergence, competitiveness and territorial cooperation programmes, ESF programmes, European Commission - DG Regional Policy, the European Investment Bank, as well as other financing institutions and actors. The "Danube Region Strategy Labgroup" is a think tank that will address the new challenges and potential, of the Strategy for the day-to-day management of operational programmes. The Labgroup shall build on practical expertise of its members and support the development of operational guidance in line with programmes practices and needs.
The first meeting of the Labgroup is taking place in Vienna on 17 March 2011.
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|Special edition of Panorama magazine on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region |
Panorama is the quarterly magazine for regional development. The spring edition to be published in April will be devoted to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.
In this edition you can see the type of projects that the Strategy is facilitating and have the views of experts on how the Region will look in 2020 and how the Strategy will support this.
|Next Steps |
- Kick-off meeting of the Danube Region Strategy Labgroup in Vienna on 17 March 2011.
- Joint Meeting of the Coordinators of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region in Gödöllő, Hungary from 8 to 10 May 2011.
- The Strategy should be endorsed by the Council during the Hungarian Presidency (foreseen date of the General Affairs Council is 13 April) and Heads of State will confirm this support (European Council of 24 June).