Launched in June 2011, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) aims to boost the development of the Danube Region. This macro-regional strategy relies on an integrated approach to encourage better policy development and the alignment of funding and resources through concrete actions and projects, resulting in a more efficient and better balanced implementation of the EU's overall objectives under Europe 2020.
In November 2011, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission launched a scientific cooperation initiative in support of the Danube Strategy focusing on four scientific priorities: environment protection, irrigation and agricultural development, navigability and energy production. As a more transversal priority, the initiative also aims to support the development of research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation.
On 24 April 2012, the JRC organised a high-level conference on the Scientific Support to the Danube Strategy in Brussels aiming to discuss the scientific needs related to the implementation of the Danube Strategy. At this conference, the key stakeholders from the Danube Region at the political, scientific and industry level confirmed their support for the scientific priorities identified.
Following this confirmation, the JRC and its scientific partners made a diagnosis of the scientific expertise needed to tackle the challenges related to those priorities. This exercise revealed that the main gaps in the current scientific landscape concern the cross-cutting study of the interdependencies between the different priorities. The evidence-based analysis of the interactions between different policy areas will indeed be essential to design consistent, integrated and sustainable policy mixes for the Danube Region.
Based on these conclusions, the JRC has elaborated on some flagship projects clusters which were presented and validated at a scientific meeting at the JRC site in Ispra (Italy) on 21-22 March 2013. This event gathered more than 130 scientists from various scientific organisations from the Danube region.
The high-level event of the 16th of May will be hosted by the Minister for Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. It will bring together high-level representatives of the countries of the Danube Region, the scientific community, industry and EU policy makers. Gathering the main stakeholders of the Danube Region, it will help 'crossing bridges' between policy-makers and scientists, between different countries and between various policy areas and/or scientific fields.
The event will be broken down into two main sessions, each of which will follow a three-step approach. Firstly, each session will be opened by key notes speeches from high-level political representatives of the Danube Countries where the main challenges faced by the region will be highlighted as far as the topic of the session is concerned. Secondly, the flagship activities and clusters established by the JRC and its scientific partners will be presented. Finally, a panel of high-level participants will further discuss the challenges presented in the session and the scientific responses proposed by the JRC and its partners.
Participation in the event is upon invitation only. For information, please contact JRC-CONFERENCE@ec.europa.eu
Session 1: Towards a smartly specialised and innovative Danube region