On 8 December 2010, the European Commission endorsed and published the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, consisting of a Communication and an Action Plan. Debated and agreed on at Community level, the documents define the core of regional cooperation in the Danube area. They were developed by the riparian states that, alongside the European Commission, assessed the real needs of the Danube region and proposed a document agreed upon both politically and technically. Therefore the Danube Strategy is a project of the European Union, which third states of the region have also been invited to join.
The four priority axes of the Strategy are connectivity (intermodal transportation, culture and tourism, energy networks), environment protection (management of water resources, biodiversity protection, and risk management), building prosperity in the Danube region (education, research, competitiveness) and improved governance (institutional capacity and internal security).
Throughout 2010, in all the riparian states conferences, seminars and roundtables were devoted to promoting the new regional concept. The outcome of these consultations is the European Commission’s Communication on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and the related Action Plan. The latter includes a detailed analysis of the current situation and proposes action lines illustrated by types of projects to be implemented on the short/medium or long term.
In the first half of 2011, in keeping with the calendar of the EU’s Hungarian Presidency, the Strategy is to be submitted for approval to the Council on 18 April and to be adopted at the European Council on 24 June. The European Commission will monitor the implementation of the Action Plan, which is to be updated periodically, depending on economic developments and social trends in the region.
Alongside the other riparian states, this year Romania will stage several public events devoted to the Danube Strategy, with all stakeholders (civil society, academia, business community, local authorities) being invited to attend .
Therefore, the actual fulfillment of the commitments of the riparian states, Romania included, will start in the second half of 2011.
At home, Romania’s contribution to developing the strategy is a result of cooperation between the following government institutions: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transports and Infrastructure, Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, Ministry of the Environment and Forests, Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Business Environment, Ministry of Public Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of the Administration and Interior, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports, and the Department for European Affairs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides interinstitutional coordination, as well as external representation of Romania in connection with this aspect.
Beginning in July 2011 the relevant central authorities will ensure sectoral coordination for the Danube Strategy priority areas, at a macro-regional level and with partners from the riparian states.
Concurrently, in keeping with the bottom-up approach (Strategy governance from the bottom to the top of the administrative pyramid), all stakeholders can contribute to actions under the Danube Strategy, participating in public events and in relevant debates.
Major benefits for Romania from the Danube Strategy:
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"EU Strategy for the Danube Region"