The Annual Forum 2015 titled “Smart, social, sustainable – Innovation for the Danube Region” offered particular importance to topics on innovation, professional training, labor mobility and migration, competitiveness and entrepreneurship as well as the role of civil society. Several thematic sessions, workshops and panel discussion gave the participants at the conference the opportunity to explore key factors for a sustainable and inclusive growth of the Danube Region and to take a closer look at the complex mechanisms that should be put together on a political, project and funding level in order to profit largely of the potential of a macro-regional strategy.
Keynote speeches were offered by:
- Peter Friedrich, Minister for the Bundesrat, Europe and International Affairs, Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
- Andrea NahlesMdB, Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs (Germany)
- Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President, Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
- Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy
- Bogdan Aurescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Romania)
Ministers reiterated that the success of the EUSDR implementation requires the alignment of relevant programs and use of these EU Funds in line with the EUSDR Priority Areas and targets.
They welcomed the new opportunities, requirements and obligations laid down in the Cohesion Policy regulations and took note of the chances to use funds in a better and more efficient manner.
Recalling the two “Joint technical Meetings of the EUSDR in the programming process for 2014-2020” of April 2013 in Bucharest and of June 2013 in Stuttgart on embedding the EUSDR in the Partnership Agreements and 2014 – 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Programs and the equivalent instruments for non-EU countries (notably the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, and the European Neighborhood Instrument), Ministers agreed that it is now vital to put into practice the provisions set out in the programming documents wherever appropriate and committed themselves to do so.