Embedding the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) in European Structural and Investment Funds programmes
The second meeting dedicated to the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region in the programming process for 2014 -2020, took place in Stuttgart on 21 June 2013.
This meeting followed an important first meeting held in Bucharest on 16-17 April, with the participation of the National Contact Points and the Partnership Agreement Coordinators (and their equivalent for non-EU countries) of all Danube countries, as well as key representatives from the European Commission. The participants succeeded in developing together a common understanding of the need and the benefits of embedding the Danube Strategy in the future programmes. However, it was also clear that there are open issues which still need attention.
The objectives of this follow-up meeting were thus twofold: first, to identify how EUSDR objectives and projects can be taken into account in drafting the programmes; second, to identify how to promote the development of EUSDR – relevant projects involving different countries and different funds.
The Parallel Workshops focused on:
– Infrastructure Investments including energy and environmental dimension: The workshop examined how OPs in the field of energy, environment or transport can contribute to the implementation of the EUSDR by investing in projects that are beneficial for a larger part of the Danube region.
– Competitiveness and innovation: The workshop discussed how the different ERDF OPs can support the implementation of the EUSDR, especially in the fields of research, innovation, competitiveness of SMEs, low carbon economy and sustainable energy.
– Social Affairs: The workshop focused on how ESF OPs can contribute to the implementation of the EUSDR in the areas of education, labour mobility, social inclusion and, the fight against poverty. The use of the provisions for transnational cooperation (Art. 10 draft ESF regulation) were also discussed.