EU Strategy for the Danube Region

Brief history

December – June 2009 Romania and Austria promote, among the EU Member States and third states in the Danube basin, the idea of a new project of regional cooperation, in the form of an EU Strategy for the Danube Region, after the Baltic Sea Strategy model.
18-19 June 2009 The European Council invites the European Commission to submit an EU Strategy for the Danube Region by the end of 2010 (the strategy will be materialized in a Communication of the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament and an Action Plan).
November 2009

The national coordinator for Romania with the development of the Strategy is appointed within the Foreign Ministry – Minister Plenipotentiary Viorel Ardeleanu. The coordinator’s role is to ensure Romania’s participation in the process of development of the Danube Strategy and to represent Romania in the dialog on this topic with the Commission and the riparian states.
The Danube Strategy will concentrate on 3 pillars: connectivity (transport, energy security, the information society), environment protection and risk control, socio-economical development (education, culture, research, tourism, rural development, competitiveness).

2 December 2009 Bucharest hosts the 13th Conference on tourist navigation on the Danube, organized by Die Donau Tourism Association from Austria, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism from Romania. The event shed light on the importance of reviving tourism in the Danube region, as part of the Strategy pillar concerning socio-economical development.
11 December 2009 The first meeting between national coordinators and European Commission experts takes place in Brussels, as part of a meeting organized by Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG Regio), in charge of developing the Strategy.
15 January 2010 The nationwide public debate on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is launched at a seminar organized by the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs of Romania with representatives of the local public administration and the academic environment. The official page dedicated to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is opened on the Foreign Ministry’s website on this occasion.
20 January 2010 The International Conference The EU Strategy for the Danube, a new challenge in the context of the territorial cohesion in the South East European Space is organized by the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry, under the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme. The conference was attended by over 100 representatives from Romania, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the Czech Republic and by experts of the European Commission and international organizations relevant for the Danube geographical area.
21 January 2010

The European Parliament passes a Resolution on the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region. The Resolution was co-signed by the following MEPs from Romania: Silvia-Adriana Ţicău and Victor Boştinaru on behalf of the S&D Group, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Theodor Stolojan, Elena Băsescu, Elena Oana Antonescu, Iosif Matula, Csaba Sógor, Petru Constantin Luhan, Iuliu Winkler on behalf of the EPP Group, and Ramona Nicole Mănescu on behalf of the ALDE Group. The MEPs call on the European Commission to draw up an Action Plan for the implementation of the projects which promote an environmentally-friendly use of the Danube for the purpose of inland navigation, intermodality with other transport systems (particularly the development of high speed transport railway lines), the preservation and improvement of water quality and the development of ecotourism.

1-2 February 2010

The European Commission, in partnership with the Bavarian town of Ulm, launches The Conference opening the process of public consultation on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, which brings together over 300 representatives of the civil society, the banking and business circles, and local, regional and national public authorities from all the riparian states.
Romania was represented by a delegation headed by László Borbély, Minister for Environment, which included representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism. Other participants from Romania included a number of MEPs involved in the promotion of the Strategy, representatives of Mehedinţi County Council, businessmen and experts. In that context, Viorel Ardeleanu, national coordinator for Romania, moderated the environment protection and risk control panel and MEP Adriana Ţicău was key-note speaker within the connectivity panel.

  On the occasion of that event, the European Commission opened the dialogue concerning the Strategy with interested players from the riparian states, by launching a public consultation document on the official website of DG Regio, which will be available to the public until 31 March 2010.