Diplomacy in Action Implementing the Strategy

Exclusive declaration by Titus Corlăţean – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania

The Danube river basin presents a tremendous potential for the economic development as well as for the regional cooperation and an alternative framework to the Baltic Strategy, the Black Sea Synergy and the Caucasus region.”  points out Minister Corlateanu.

Diplomacy in Action for the Implementation of the EU Danube Strategy In the past, it was a subject of divine veneration, under the names of Istros, Danuvius, Danuvia or Donau. Nowadays, Danube is a strategic and economic axis of cooperation linking people from Ulm, Regensburg and Bratislava to people from Vienna, Novisad and Braila, EU-member states to non-EU member states, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia to Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Moldova. More than a geopolitical axis, Danube is a people-to-people project, a bridge between different people and cultures and a spirit of cooperation. For the candidate countries, Danube it is a way through the European Union integration. Romania benefits from the longest part of the river and from the largest natural reserve, the Danube Delta, with a unique eco-system in Europe. Being aware of this strategic and economic position, Romania took a leading role in the initiation of the Danube Strategy and in its implementation. Furthermore, it assumed the coordination of three priority areas of the Strategy, namely inland waterways, environmental risks management, tourism and culture.

Since the adoption of the Action Plan by the European Council, in June 2011, the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region has been regarded as an innovative project at the regional and European level. But the decisive phase has started this year. The EUSDR has entered a challenging stage – the implementation of the flagship projects. Hence, Romania has a role to play in strengthening cooperation among participating countries and implementing common projects and actions under the Danube Strategy’s umbrella.

 

 

At the previous St. Polten meeting of the Foreign Affairs ministers from the riparian countries, on 22 October 2012, the prevailing opinion was that continued political guidance is needed to maintain the dynamics of the EUSDR process and the overall commitment to the implementation of the Action Plan.

The Annual Forum to be held in Regensburg, on 27-28 November, is the first meeting of this kind to take stock of the developments since the launch of the EUSDR. Hence, issues of investments, competitiveness and innovation are at the heart of the debates. To make it work, cooperation and coordination are essential in order to gather all our synergies, from national governments, regions’ and towns’ authorities, civil society and business communities alike.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the EUSDR National Forum, I am confident that my team of diplomats together with all the other dedicated colleagues in government agencies and at local level seize the moment and contribute to making the EU Danube Strategy work to the benefit of all our citizens and the entire region. Transforming our Danube region into an opportunity of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, depends on us all!

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