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EU-Strategy for the Danube Region: 3 years of successful co-operation

(23 June 2014)

EU-Strategy for the Danube Region: 3 years of successful co-operation

Ahead of the 3rd Annual Forum of the EU Danube Strategy (EUSDR), Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, informed national and international media in Vienna about the progress achieved and the challenges still to be tackled.

Summarising the achievements, the Commissioner highlighted flagship projects in the area of river maintenance and navigation, education, research and innovation as well as co-operation in the field of energy. Around 78 bio EUR have been invested in the region so far.

Hahn pointed to the innovative method of macro-regional co-operation which enables countries to identify priorities areas and work jointly on common solutions. With regard to navigation, the Commissioner stressed the importance to invest in the navigability of the Danube in order to exploit the full potential of this environment friendly and cost-efficient means of transport. In this context the Commissioner referred to a Commission study suggesting the construction of an innovative vessel which could save 15% of fuel and emissions.

Concerning the challenges, Hahn pleaded for more strategic governance and political leadership in order to speed up the process of implementation. The Commissioner highlighted also the active role of Austria and Vienna in the Danube Strategy.

The 3rd Annual Danube Strategy will take place on 26-27 June in Vienna.