Report concerning the governance of macro-regional strategies
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Since the start of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in 2009, Europe has seen a growing interest in cooperation in greater European regions. Macro-regional strategies represent a new opportunity for comprehensive development of a larger region, addressing common challenges and potential. They represent a clear EU value added, and existing EU horizontal policies are reinforced. They respond to matters such as:
- the deterioration of the environmental state of the Baltic Sea;
- unused potential for improved navigability and water quality for an attractive Danube Region;
- economic, social and environmental diversity and fragmentation in the Adriatic Ionian Region, and
- territorial, economic and social imbalances between cities and rural areas in the Alps, to be addressed in a potential future EU Strategy for the Alpine Region.
Their integrated approach also allows important overall policy objectives, such as mainstreaming of climate action, as well as support for a low-carbon economy and climate resilient society, to be incorporated in regional development work.
Good practice examples of successful macro-regional actions already exist in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The environmental status of the Baltic Sea is improving, through collective action to reduce pollution with projects like CleanShip. Navigation on the Danube is being made easier through reinforced maintenance work. Innovations concerning the environment, clean technology and ecoinnovation are developed for example through the BONUS Baltic Sea Research and Development Programme, with similar work underway in the Danube Region.
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