Check out the Special Edition:
Second Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region here!
On 27-28 November nearly 300 participants gathered in Zagreb for an international conference on "Research and entrepreneurship partnership for the growth and internationalization of SMEs in Danube Region". With 24 speakers from 8 different countries, the conference aimed to foster stronger interaction of research organisations, small and medium enterprises and regional governments towards creation of innovations as key driver for competitiveness of the Danube Region and Europe.

To learn more about the results of the conference and to download presentation, please visit the PA 8 (Competitiveness) website.
9 countries, 3,000 river kilometres, more than 300 unsalaried experts and approximately 3,000 hours in the field under cold, windy and wintry conditions – these are the pillars for this census which will take place on 12th January 2014. Find out more about this initiative by reading this pre-report by the Austrian Press Agency (german language only) or checking out the DANUBEPARKS Network website (English, German, Serbian & Romanian).
Check the reports section of the website to download the priority area annual reports from June 2013.

14 countries from Europe's Danube "macro region" will gather for this year's Danube Forum in Bucharest on Monday and Tuesday 28 and 29 October. Hosted by EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the Forum will discuss how to strengthen the impact of the EU's Danube Strategy to tackle some of the region's most pressing challenges like energy security and pollution, crime, missing transport links to lack of competitiveness and the brain drain.

Foreign and Regional Development Ministers will join Commissioner Hahn to take stock of current achievements and challenges, assess progress to date and reflect on the future implementation of the Danube Strategy.

The meeting comes after the recent endorsement by EU Member States of the European Commission's evaluation report on the added value of the macroregional strategies. This report delivered a positive verdict on the macroregional approach: highlighting its hundreds of new projects, joint initiatives and important networks which bring together EU and non EU countries alike to solve common problems. But the report also reminded governments of the need for more political commitment and leadership and to make the strategy a priority across all relevant policy areas.

More information

Registration for the 2nd Annual Forum of the EUSDR on 28-29 October in Bucharest is now closed. Over 800 registrations were received. To find out more about the conference, visit the new Annual Forum section includes an overview of the forum programme, as well as a list of side events.
In December 2012 the European Commission proposed to create a new transnational cooperation programme for the 2014-2020 period. The Danube programme area includes Austria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria) not whole territory); Hungary; the Republic of Moldova; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Ukraine (not whole territory).

The preparation of the new programme is conducted by the Programming Task Force: a committee of representatives from all the Danube partner states’. The Task Force was funded in February 2013 and it had four meetings so far. The main aim of the work of the Task Force is to develop the Danube Operational Programme, which will serve as a basic document for the implementation of the transnational programme. The Task Force makes its decisions on the basis of consensus.

The geography of the new Danube programme matches exactly the territory of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region adopted in 2011. The macro-regional strategy and the transnational programme are two different instruments developed for similar aims but acting on different levels and principles. Their matching territory and goals provide great opportunities for cooperation between the two: besides contributing to the Strategy’s thematic goals by realizing relevant cooperation projects, the programme might also support the institutional cooperation of stakeholders and institutions of the Danube Strategy.

Thematic priorities of the Danube programme will be defined in line with the relevant draft EC legislation, the national priorities of Partner States, and reflect the needs of the programme area. Topics to be addressed by programme priorities may include many of traditional transnational cooperation topics, like innovation, transport, environment, etc.

Implementation of the programme will be coordinated by joint structures set up in Budapest, Hungary. Implementing structures of the programme are designed in a new institutional setup, taking into account simplification and transnationality as guiding principles.
Registration for the 2nd Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (Bucharest, 28-29 October 2013) is open from now until 7 October! Register here or visit the event website for more information.
UNESCO has recently published a call for participation in the first seminar of the School of Science Journalism and Communication in South-East Europe and the Black Sea area - with a team of established science journalists.

If you are interested in applying or learning more, please visit the UNESCO website.

Target groups are ambitious English speaking graduates or post graduates with interest in media, science journalism and science communication.

Please note that the deadline for applications is 8 September 2013!

The past few months have been very active for the EUSDR community. Discussions were held in two meetings—one in Bucharest, Romania and the other in Stuttgart, Germany—on how to include the Strategy in the programming process for the 2014-2020 period. You can follow up on the results of these discussions by downloading the meeting summary from Bucharest here and from Stuttgart here.

You can download this special edition of the Danube Alliance Magazine here.

Please note that neither INTERACT nor the European Commission were involved in the production of this publication.
The European Commission has published the first study to weigh up the success of the EU's two macro-regional strategies and to provide recommendations for the future.

Commenting on the report, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, said: “Today's study shows the clear value of our macro regional strategies. Their intensified cooperation has resulted in literally hundreds of new projects and new networks in the Danube and the Baltic regions. Above all, participants tell us that cooperation – including with non EU member states has been significantly strengthened."

To download the full report visit the INFOREGIO website.