Optimising our Efforts for the Danube Region

The European Commission is currently concluding its consultations with all 14 Danube Region countries. On the basis of these consultations, we will from September to November proceed with our internal procedures. The final documents will then be adopted by the College of Commissioners on 8th December, which is when they will be made public. The Strategy will comprise two main documents: a Communication from the European Commission to the other institutions, which will set the scene and provide the overall framework for the future Strategy, and an Action Plan which will be the main “roadmap” for our work in the years to come and will list concrete actions and proposals to turn words into action. The Strategy itself should be seen as the combination of those two key elements. The two together will outline the objectives and the means to achieve these objectives.

Nathalie Verschelde “Danube Team”, DG Regio, European Commission.

The Commission is deeply committed to making a success of the new EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The success of this Strategy, however, is not in our hands. It is in the hands of the countries, the stakeholders and of those who finance the actions and projects. We know that funding is available. Now the challenge is to use those funds wisely and in partnership. It is clear that we all share a common aim – to improve the prosperity and quality of life for the 115 million people who live in the wider Danube Region. Today we get down to the business of discussing concrete projects that will deliver lasting results. I welcome in particular the high level of political representation. In the aftermath of the financial crisis we need to spend our money where we get most value. We need to use the existing funds in a more coherent way to maximize their potential. As we move towards a truly integrated market the whole region will become more resilient to external shocks and better able to tap its full potential. The potential benefits cannot be judged narrowly by which euros are spent where.

 

 “The EU Strategy for the Danube Region will be closely linked to the Europe 2020 Strategy, and will translate the Europe 2020 objectives into priorities and actions reflecting the specific conditions that exist in this region.”

said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Belgrade, 27th September 2010.

 “It is about getting more for our money. For the period 2007-2013 approximately 100 billion have been allocated to this region through EU Structural Funds. That is quite a sum. There are other sources of funding available, from other EU programs and from the international financial. National, regional and local authorities also have a contribution to make.”

Danube Alliance Magazine No. 1 – October 2010

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