Danube Region Strategy: Success Stories
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The Danube Region extends over 14 countries, nine of which are EU Member States. It is home to over 100 million people, or one-fifth of the EU’s population. Although the countries are different in terms of economic strength, the region is strongly interlinked, with potential for further integration and growth. It has a strategic position, opening up the EU to its neighbours, the Black Sea region, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. It hosts the world’s most international river, which is a major transport axis, a crucial interconnected hydrological basin, and a worldrenowned ecological corridor.
Thus, the region is connected through both opportunities and challenges. The policies of the countries are interdependent. However, they can all benefit greatly from improved cooperation in, for example, completing missing transport links, reducing pollution and danger from floods, lowering dependency on energy providers from outside the region, and addressing demographic change or the brain drain. The region’s competitiveness can also profit substantially from joint action in the fields of SMEs, labour market policies, education and security.
The Strategy provides a robust integrated framework for countries and regions to address issues which cannot be handled satisfactorily in an isolated way, but instead require transnational strategic approaches, projects and networking. It enables better cooperation to improve the effectiveness, leverage and impact of policies – at EU,
The cooperation activities focus on four pillars: connecting the region; protecting the environment; building prosperity through security and capacity building; and strengthening the socio-economic aspects. Within each pillar, concrete cooperation targets specify priority areas.
After five years of implementation, significant achievements are becoming evident. The purpose of this publication is to give examples of what has been achieved together, based on the cooperation at macro-regional scale in the Danube Region. These projects and achievements exemplify the added value of the Danube Strategy and will provide further motivation for continuing to cooperate along this successful path in order to contribute to the balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth of the Danube Region.
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