The mission taking place as part of the presidency of Baden Württemberg is leading the Four Motors for Europe to the centre of the Southeast Danube Region for two reasons: Firstly, by staging a political conference we aim to build a bridge from our long-standing partnership in Western Europe to a new partnership in the Southeast Donau region. Secondly, we intend to open up new perspectives to strengthen the “Europe of Regions” and to exchange information on how interregional cooperation works in practice.
The question is how competitiveness and innovative drive in the Danube Region can be strengthened by the experiences of the Four Motors regions. A company networking event, for instance, can bring companies from the regions together. Additionally, successful models
of cross-border cooperation have been developed at the Rhine, Lake Constance and in the Four Motors regions. We want to present these models in the Southeast Danube Region, whose history has been a troubled one up until recent times.
Overcoming boundaries, building new bridges – for the conference in Novi Sad at the Danube I hope that we can find the same motivation which was present at the Rhine after the Second World War in the drive towards a united Europe. Or better yet, we can draw inspiration from the ERASMUS generation that meet today as a matter of course as young Europeans in Barcelona, Lyon, Milan, Heidelberg or at the EXIT Festival due to be held in Novi Sad!
Minister for the German Federal Council, Europe and International Affairs
This encounter in Novi Sad could, without exaggeration, be referred to as a historical one: Vojvodina, which is itself a “Europe in a nutshell”, connecting for centuries what is best in all the nations living in it, has an opportunity to host such a significant event, to be an interlocutor and participant in strengthening the EUROPE OF REGIONS.
You will see that Vojvodina, populated by 26 nations, with six languages in the official use, is the most diverse European region. It is what we have inherited, are proud of and what we cherish with particular care. In terms of economy, Vojvodina is a well-developed region, whose development potentials are most evident in agribusiness, pharmaceutical, electro-mechanical and automotive industry and information and communication technologies. The specified potentials of Vojvodina would not be as significant without the University of Novi Sad and the developed science sector as partners in the economy.
By organising the “Mission of Four Motors for Europe within the Framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region”, we initiated the establishment of the efficient new relations between Baden- Württemberg, Lombardy, Catalonia and Rhône-Alpes, as the leaders among European regions on the one, and AP Vojvodina and counties from Hungary, Croatia and Romania on the other hand. History has taught us that institutional networking often result in an overall economic development, which is why we are committed to cooperation and development of communities capable of producing innovative and concrete solutions to the benefit of all.
Bojan Pajtić, SJD
President of the AP Vojvodina Government