BUCHAREST, November 8, 2010
The event enjoyed the participation of: Traian Basescu, President of Romania, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, President of the European Commission, Emil Boc, Prime-Minister of Romania, Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions, Michael Spindelegger, Federal Minister of Foreing Affairs of Austria, Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State, Federal Republic of Germany, Viktor Orban, Prime-Minister of Hungary.
The Declaration of the Bucharest Summit on Danube confirms the importance of the Strategy as a cooperation framework for the future. The Head of the State and Government of the Danube Region highlighted that: they were strongly committed to implement the Strategy; the Strategy aimed at a more efficient use of existing funds; the Commission should play an important role in the implementation of the actions; realistic actions were needed to have concrete improvements on the ground.
President of Romania
Besides transportation, our strategy demands projects and investments in port infrastructure and the energy infrastructure and needs to pay more attention to environmental protection and to shape the territorial cooperation between regions and neighboring localities. Our priorities should focus upon creating a management system regarding the environmental factors, thus including the removal of environmental aftermath in case of natural disaster; the preservation and expansion of woodlands, parks and green areas in urban areas. All these in the context of climate change debates and the role of the European Union as a global actor in this process.
The Danube Delta is one of the largest natural wet lands in the world and has a triple international protection status. Delta needs a special program and Romania is determined to act towards this and improve and strengthen the protection of this unique ecosystem.
Meanwhile, the Strategy is going to propose the tourism development and the natural heritage and cultural-historical heritage improvement by developing specific and intense promotional activities. Danube is an important catalyst for creativity and intercultural dialogue, an inspiration, a connection and a communication bridge between cultures and civilizations developed through trade, social and cultural relations, based on the proximity.
President of the European Commission
Our immediate priority is to bring stability to the economic situation. We know that the actions Romania is taking are very difficult, very hard, but we think that the alternative to that would be even more difficult. The key is to maintain the course and to implement fiscal consolidation measures and structural measures needed by the country. Romania has now one of the highest costs of the loans in the European Union. Without this kind of reforms Romania will not meet the conditions to attract investors and will not create the trust that can generate growth and jobs. I think that the European funds can crucially stimulate the economy and therefore help to reduce poverty.
We need to speed up the EU funds flow so that they can be used at full capacity. This involves an action plan in order to accelerate the supply, the increased political surveillance and, later, the technical assistance from the Commission, needed to improve management and the administrative capacities at all levels in Romania.
Building confidence in Member States is crucial. Therefore, the progress of the judicial reform and fight against corruption is so important.
President of the Committee of the Regions
It is within the Danube basin, as well as on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, that we consolidate the achievements and the next steps of the Union enlargement. It is through the Danube Strategy that we can boost the Europe 2020 agenda from the bottom, by rooting it at local and regional level.
Indeed, macro-regions can bring the new Treaty objective of territorial cohesion into facts, creating a critical mass of European action on a given place. Moreover, multilevel governance of the Strategy allows to pool political commitments, competences and resources across all levels of government. In this regards, local and regional authorities realize 70% of public investment. They are key actors to transpose European legislation, to implement structural funds, to engage citizens. Indeed, to make the Danube Strategy a success story.