A socio-economic study has been commissioned by the coordinator of Priority Area (PA) 8, located within the Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg. It is financed by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission and co-financed by the Ministry.

One aim of the study is to analyse the current situation in the Danube Region with respect to prosperity, entrepreneurship/SMEs and cooperation activities to identify the obstacles which hinder the improvement of the situation. The full assessment is available for download on the site of PA 8:

http://groupspaces.com/Competitiveness/pages/socio-economic-assessment-of-the-danube-region-challenges-and-recommendations-for-cooperation-towards-sustainable-development

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The EU Strategy for the Danube Region introduced in 2011 served as an important driver for the development of the ETC programmes 2014-2020. The proceedings at hand result from a conference in 2013 and a series of further smaller workshops organised by the Danube Strategy Research Network (DSRN) between 2012 and 2015. The papers reflect on the EUSDR and its challenges and opportunities through a number of different perspectives. 

The first series of papers reflect on the newly developing macro-regional strategies as a new element of the multi-level governance system of the EU. Others focus on the influence and impact on Europeanization and European integration, as well as on the added value and challenges through macro-regional cooperation. The second part presents experiences within different Danube countries analysed from different perspectives, e.g. EU funding implementation, bottom-up approaches as well as institutional relations. The final part discusses the scientific support. The challenges and opportunities identified at the conference for the EUSDR’s future are manifold and vary within the different EUSDR regions considerably, more so due to the diversity within the different Priority Areas. The two main challenges that can be extracted from the papers and the discussions at the conference are, first, the different focuses of national and European discussions, and second, the different expectations of stakeholders towards the relevant processes. Whereas the European discussion focuses on governance, alignment of funding etc., the conference has shown the strong dependency of EUSDR developments on national dynamics.

This publication is an output of the „Conference on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region: Challenges and Chances 2014 – 2020“. The event was organised by the Danube Strategy Research Network and its partners in Brussels in November 2013. 

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