Tell people from the Danube Region that there is future for their children

02

What have we achieved so far?

First, we have now put in place a solid platform for longterm cooperation. This is a big step forward for those who know how patchy and fragmented cooperation was only two years ago. The early political commitment from 2008 has not waned. I want to take this opportunity to thank Ministers across the Region for their continued support and dedication. We also have better cooperation at operational level in the 11 Priority Areas. There is now a clear framework for all the countries of the Danube to tackle shared issues and exploit common potential together. Secondly, we have a number of very concrete projects which have started in many priority areas. My main concern relates to the sometimes patchy participation in the coordination work and the too frequent changes in personnel. For us to succeed, we do need to see strong participation from all countries in all priority areas. We have come a long way in just 18 months but we are still only in the first stretch of a long marathon. 2013 will be a key year in this process as negotiations start on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes. Finally, I want to make sure we do not lose track of the important targets we have agreed upon. Our success will be measured against these targets – they should help us focus and concentrate on what we have all agreed is essential for the Danube Region in the coming years.

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