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Save the date: 7th EUSDR Annual Forum, 18-19 October 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria

In 2018 Bulgaria is the rotating Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (the Danube Strategy, EUSDR). As a key event of the 2018 EUSDR Presidency, Bulgaria and the European Commission are jointly organizing the 7th Annual Forum which will be held on 18 - 19 October 2018 in Sofia. The main focus of the event will be on tourism development as a precondition to economic growth and territorial cohesion.

The Annual Forum will cover topics of particular importance for the Danube region related to preservation of cultural and historical heritage, new technologies and digitalization in tourism sector, ensuring safety and security in tourism, transport connectivity and mobility. Issues related to synergy and consistency between macro-regional strategies for achieving the common objectives of the EU and for the future of those strategies after 2020 will also be referred to. Two parallel thematic sessions on sustainable tourism mobility and security in public spaces and an open-air exhibition have been scheduled as well.

The registration will open on 1 August 2018. More information about the Forum, including a detailed agenda and list of speakers as well as presentation topics will be available soon on the EUSDR website (www.danube-region.eu).

Within the frame of the Capitalization Strategy of the Danube Transnational Programme the coordinator of Pole 1, in close cooperation with the Priority Areas 8, 3 “Culture & tourism” and 7 “Knowledge Society” of the EUSDR, is organizing  a Cross-fertilisation Innovation and Technology Transfer Workshop on 24th of May 2018 in Bucharest. During the Workshop - with regard to the 7th Annual Forum of the EUSDR, which is going to take place in Sofia on 18 and 19 October 2018 - a special, thematic focus will put on tourism and digitalization.

The objective of the interactive workshop is to identify opportunities for further cooperation among the priority areas regards the thematic field “Innovation and Technology Transfer” as well as of Pole 1 of the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme (Innovative Ecosystems in SMEs). The findings of the interactive workshop will be presented at the 7th Annual Forum of the EUSDR.

Meeting Venue:

University “Politechnica“ Bucharest, SplaiulIndependentei no. 313, sector 6, Bucharest Hall: Central Library (http://www.library.pub.ro/) Room 2.2

Please note:  A registration is necessary to participate in the Cross-fertilisation Workshop. Participants who are interested are invited to register under the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For further information: https://www.danube-competitiveness.eu/news/cross-fertilisation-innovation-and-technology-transfer-workshop

Attachments:
Download this file (Agenda_PA8-Cross-fertilisation-Workshop_Bucharest_final.pdf)Workshop Agenda[ ]633 kB

Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a complex phenomenon that is highly dependent on regional and local economic, social as well as cultural factors. Priority Area 10 is playing an active role in facilitating a discussion among experts, municipalities, cities and non-governmental organizations. Only common efforts can result in tangible steps for combating human trafficking and exploitation.

We are inviting you to join us at round table on 18 April 2108 that will take place at Jable castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Focus of discussion will be on strengthening the role of municipalities and cities in preventing & combating human trafficking & exploitation: The Importance of a coordinated and integrated approach. Experienced experts will share their insights and ideas for increased cooperation that would foster in more successful combating trafficking in human beings. These might facilitate future cooperation of interested stake-holders and stronger Danube region network.

Attachments:
Download this file (Agenda_DCAHT 18.4.2018 (2).pdf)Agenda[ ]182 kB

On 13 June 2017, the EU Strategy for Danube Region (EUSDR) National Coordinators have conferred the “EUSDR Strategic Project” status on nine projects, showcasing the successful progress, joint efforts and commitment of the Danube Region countries and relevant stakeholders in implementing the Strategy through projects.

This is the result of a collective effort led by the Danube Strategy Point (DSP) -- involving the key implementers of the EUSDR i.e. the Priority Areas Coordinators (PACs) and Steering Group Members, project promoters and ultimately the National Coordinators -- which aimed at identifying projects with high macro-regional impact benefitting the Danube Region and its EU Strategy.

The EUSDR Strategic Projects’ selection and validation process followed a bottom-up approach in line with the methodology and selection criteria set up in the Concept Paper for EUSDR Strategic Projects.

The overall process considered some 31 projects initially identified by five EUSDR Priority Areas which have decided to pursuing the status of “EUSDR Strategic Project” for selected projects in their respective areas, namely PA1a (Mobility Waterways), PA3 (Culture & Tourism), PA6 (Biodiversity & Landscapes), PA9 (People & Skills), and PA10 (Institutional Capacity). This pre-selection phase was followed by a comprehensive quality review conducted by the DSP which has led to the recommendation that nine projects meet the EUSDR strategic value and attributes defined in the Concept paper. This outcome was agreed upon and confirmed by the EUSDR National Coordinators during their meeting of 13 June 2017 in Budapest. Accordingly, the “EUSDR Strategic Project” status has been conferred on the following nine projects :

  1. FAIRway Danube - Coordinated deployment of the Fairway Rehabilitation & Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its Navigable Tributaries;

Overall Objective : to implement the "Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan of the Danube and its navigable tributaries", attain and ensure good navigation conditions throughout the year by providing a minimum level of service.

Quick facts

- project duration : July 2015 - June 2020

- total budget       : 23,428,467.00 EUR (co-financing by CEF)

Website : http://www.fairwaydanube.eu/

 2. Danube STREAM - Smart, Integrated and Harmonized Waterway Management;

Overall Objective : to establish and maintain an efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation network (Danube and its navigable tributaries) by further developing effective waterway infrastructure management.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- total budget       : 2,108,661.42 EUR (co-financing by ERDF + IPA)

Website :  http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/danube-stream

3. Energy Barge - Building a Green Energy and Logistics Belt;

Overall objective : to exploit the potential for green energy in the form of biomass along the Danube river in a sustainable way, thereby increasing energy security and efficiency in the Danube countries, considering: the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC, the EU2020 climate goals, and the EUSDR’s objective.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- total budget       : 2,323,519.65 EUR (co-financing by ERDF)

Website : www.interreg-danube.eu/energy-barge

 4. DAPhNE - Danube Ports Network;

Overall Objective : to facilitate a balanced development of Danube Ports as eco-friendly, well accessible multimodal hubs for the transport system of the region, turning them into buzzing economic centres functioning as catalysts for economic growth and creation of high value jobs.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- total budget       : 2,985,406.15 EUR (co-financing by ERDF + IPA)

Website : www.interreg-danube.eu/daphne

 5. DANTE - Improving Administrative Procedures and Processes for Danube IWT;

Overall Objective : to identify and eliminate administrative barriers for inland waterway transport (IWT) on the Danube & its navigable tributaries as a joint initiative of the private sector and the national public authorities responsible for these barriers. “Same River – Same Rules !”.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- total budget       : 1,982,786.00 EUR (co-financing by ERDF + IPA)

Website : http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/dante

 6. Danube SKILLS - Increased institutional capacity in Danube navigation by boosting joint transnational competences and skills in education and public development services;

Overall Objective : to increase institutional and organisational capacity in the Danube Region by building-up joint transnational capacities for the education and public services providers in the inland navigation.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- budget               : 2,023,100.00 EUR (co-financing by ERDF + IPA)

Website : http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/danube-skills

 7. CultPlatForm_21 - Danube Culture Platform - Creative Spaces of the 21st Century;

Overall Objective : to establish an innovative multi-level policy framework benefitting the cultural routes in the Danube Region.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- budget               : 1,676,878.64 EUR (co-financing by ERDF + IPA)

Website : http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/cultplatform-21

 8. EDU-LAB - New Danubian Governance in Labour market relevance of higher education;

Overall Objective : to improve institutional capacities to increase the labour market relevance of higher education with a view to retain more young talents studying and working in the region. A new governance model will be developed with the goal to create a binding commitment by the “Danubian Charter for young talents”.

Quick facts

- project duration : January 2017 - June 2019

- budget               : 2,528,088.90 EUR (co-financing by ERDF + IPA)

Website : http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/edu-lab

 9. CrowdInno - Crowdfunding to drive regional Innovation;

Overall Objective : to establish innovation networks enabling the public sector to support SMEs, spin-offs and start-ups to access qualitative alternative financing (crowdfunding) and to exploit the resulting findings for more innovation in the Danube Region.

Quick facts

- project duration : April 2016 - April 2019

- budget               : 2,708,470.00 EUR

Website : https://www.keep.eu/keep/project-ext/42774/CrowdInno

 

HU Presidency Logo

12 July 2017 – Following his two-week-long journey, Pál Hidvégi-Üstös – the ultramarathoner who began his quest of cycling along both sides of the stretch of the Danube river in Hungary with a velocipede on June 27 – has at last returned to his point of departure, Szalkszentmárton.

The unique event was organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and served as a sort of teaser for the “70 marathons for the Danube” initiative, within the framework of which athletes will run along the entire stretch of the Danube. Coinciding with the Hungarian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, this event was not only intended to raise awareness to the importance of safeguarding our rivers, but also to encourage their responsible use.

“In 14 days I cycled 750 kilometres, visited 98 municipalities and met with 46 mayors. I was received warmly in each place, and, whilst conveying the message of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, I had conversations concerning the environment, sustainability as well as the importance of the responsible use of our rivers. Many of the local authorities presented with pride the developmental progress they achieved in recent years relating to the Danube. The contribution of the Danube to the livelihoods of the people who reside along its banks was brought up on nearly each occasion, and naturally we also spoke of issues pertaining to tourism, transport and sport – including kayaking, canoeing, cycling and the importance of bike paths,” said Pál Hidvégi-Üstös, recalling his conversations with the representatives of the local authorities whom he visited on his journey.

“Despite the summer vacation, nearly 200 people joined me on my trip, some of whom were 5-year-old children and 75-year-old men and women. By proceeding along some busy roads, my velocipede attracted quite some attention; people tried out the ‘Methuselah of bicycles’ at nearly every municipality.”

Pál Hidvégi-Üstös intends to draw further attention to the objectives of the Strategy, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, by running along the entire stretch of the Danube – traversing 10 countries – this fall. The 3,200 kilometre run, which Pál will commence on September 17, will take approximately three months. Pál should arrive in Budapest on October 18, the day on which the 6th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region commences.

 

KEP ITALY Call for Proposals 2017 (Deadline: 29 June)

The CEI has announced a new Call for Proposals for the CEI Know‐how Exchange Programme (KEP) ‐ ITALY. The projects will be co‐financed by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, entirely financed by the Italian Government.

The CEI is a regional forum for cooperation and consultation, which promotes collaboration at political, economic and cultural level in Central and Eastern Europe. Founded in 1989, the CEI currently counts 18 Member States (of which 13 are EUSDR countries): Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

The overall objective of this Call for Proposals is to contribute to the development of the CEI region, bolstering social cohesion and economic dynamism while strengthening cooperation between the CEI Member States. As outlined in the Plan of Action, the CEI is supporting the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies within its territory.

The overall indicative amount for this Call for Proposals is up to a maximum cumulative amount of 200,000 Euro (€ 200,000) that will be made available by the CEI Fund at the EBRD, entirely financed by the Italian Government.

The following types of applicants are eligible to apply: all public and private sector bodies (not individuals), international and non‐governmental organisations operating in the public interest, e.g. national, regional and local authorities, education/research institutions, and environmental organisations.

Applicants are requested to fill in and submit the Application Form and Budget Template by 29 June 2017, midnight CEST (GMT+2).

More information and related documents could be found on http://www.cei.int/content/kep-italy-call-proposals-2017-deadline-29-june

Danube Region Strategy “Energy Prospects Post-2020” conference

On 31 May 2017, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade – with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – organized a conference entitled „Danube Region Strategy: Energy Prospects Post-2020”. As part of Hungary’s current presidency of the Danube Region Strategy, this program was the first in a series of events that will also focus on transport and clean connectivity. The closed morning session for experts from EUSDR Member States highlighted the technical, infrastructural and regulatory challenges facing the energy systems of Central and South-eastern Europe, whereas the afternoon, open panel discussion explored the long-term political, economic and social effects of climate change and the “green” energy revolution.

Hungary formally assumed the presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region in November 2016, and shall host a high-level Annual Forum on 18 - 19 October 2017 in Budapest. To prepare for the event, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, is organizing a series of conferences covering current issues of mutual interest to Member States of the Danube Region Strategy, namely energy, transport, and clean connectivity. The first conference, entitled “DRS Energy Prospects Post-2020”, was held at IFAT on 31 May 2017.

The morning session of the conference entailed a closed panel discussion between experts from the EUSDR countries on issues pertaining to energy and climate, in accordance with the Chatham House Rule. The topics covered included gas market integration, the role of R+D, cross-border cooperation and the harmonization of national energy strategies with EU guidelines. Specific attention was devoted to the question of how to best capitalize upon potential political and business synergies between Member States in terms of energy.

The afternoon session was open to the public, and focused on the energy outlook for our region over the next decade(s). In his opening remarks, Ambassador Márton Schőberl, IFAT’s Director reflected on the various geopolitical forces affecting the Danube region from an energy perspective. Mr István Joó, Ministerial Commissioner for Water Diplomacy, Export and the Danube Region Strategy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary underscored the benefits of cooperation between DRS countries in line with the priorities of Hungary’s presidency. The second keynote speech, delivered by Mr Zoltán Deák, the Head of the Political and Economic Unit at the European Commission Representation in Hungary, highlighted the importance of the Danube region from the perspective of the EU’s macro-regional development strategies.

The ensuing panel discussion comprised five renowned experts. Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi, Director for Environmental Sustainability from the Office of the President spoke about long-term environmental challenges, stressing the need to step beyond traditional narratives of “pipeline politics” to address the multifaceted effects of decarbonisation globally. Our invited foreign speakers, Mr Pavol Szalai (senior editor, EurActiv.sk, Slovakia), Mr Victor Logatskiy (leading expert on energy, Razumkov Centre, Ukraine), and Mr Todor Galev (senior analyst, Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria) presented the medium-term energy policy outlook of their respective countries, also pointing out the social and environmental impacts of these strategies. Finally, Mr Pál Ságvári, Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security from the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, differentiated between the infrastructural challenges of the region in pre-2020 period, and the transformative changes awaiting the sector in the coming decades. The panel discussion was followed by a lively Q+A session. The moderator of the entire event was Ms Diána Szőke, senior analyst at IFAT.

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The Hungarian Presidency of the Danube Region Strategy has launched a discussion in Brussels on the future cooperation between macro regional strategies

Over 100 experts, from 23 different countries (including 3 non-EU countries) engaged in the implementation of macro regional strategies were present at the seminar organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary on the 23rd of May in Brussels. The event, which was hosted by the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU, has generated very much interest and gave the opportunity to the existing macro regional strategies to share their experiences, but also gave the possibility for the Carpathian Macro Regional Strategy to be introduced by Poland.

 
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In his keynote address dr. György Kozma, Head of Cabinet of the Permanent Representation of Hungary, highlighted that this initiative is ground-breaking in that it is the first time when all stakeholders and decision makers were involved (from the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region) in the discussions regarding the future perspectives of macro regional strategies. He further emphasized that the framework provided by macro regional strategies could be the most suitable form of cooperation for regional advocacy, for example considering the future financing possibilities beyond 2020, because they inherently bridge the divide between political ambitions of nation states and the European Union.

The speakers of the event found the expert level dialogue - which included important questions such as the need to simplify application procedures to EU funds and the importance of concentrating existing funds based on jointly defined strategic areas - very pragmatic. The discussion also covered the opportunities of increasing funds that are directly connected to the implementation of macro-regional strategies – such as the Danube Region Strategy, in which Hungary plays an active and leading role.

 
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In his concluding words Gábor Jenei, Deputy National Coordinator of Hungary in the EUSDR, highlighted that based on the positive feedback received from the participants of the event the discussion must be continued and that the member states count on the further involvement and leadership of Hungary in the future. The Deputy National coordinator also emphasized that the representatives of the European Commission and the experts present agreed that the implementation of the strategies is best served by the successful realisation of projects. In this regard Hungary can be a leading example, as it heads more than one fifth of the projects financed by the Danube Transnational Programme that covers 14 countries and mobilizes 250 million €.

The Hungarian Presidency of the Danube Region Strategy together with the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center is launching an international photography competition entitled ’One Day of the Danube’. For more information please visit the attached document

Attachments:
Download this file (ONE DAY OF THE DANUBE  EN +.pdf)ONE DAY OF THE DANUBE EN +.pdf[Call for Entries]710 kB

The Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) is launching the second call for proposals for its priorities 1, 2 and 3. The call will be open from 09.05.2017 to 06.06.2017

EU macro-regional strategies are aiming at addressing challenges shared within a functional area. They also aim at better implementation of the EU policies and more coordination of existing institutions and financial resources. Macro-regional strategies address broad scope of priorities, making an effort for cooperation and coordination across the territory.

Taking into account that transport issues are at heart of all four EU macro-regional strategies and they connect not only countries within one macro-region but also countries across macro-regions, INTERACT has organised a Joint meeting of Transport Coordinators (water and land) of the all four EU macro-regional strategies on 14-15 March 2017 in Ljubljana.

The meeting was following up on the discussion in the High Level Group for Macro-regional strategies (held on 30 May 2016) inviting Coordinators of Transport theme, priority, action or pillar from all four macro-regional strategies to exchange practices and experiences in implementation of their tasks.

The outcomes of the meeting are published in this summary report.

 

         

 

 

Thematic Seminar -

Innovative Energy Solutions for European Regions and Cities

- in the context of the Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP)

24 March 2017 in Brussels

Venue: European Committee of the Regions, Room JDE 52

Organisers: European Committee of the Regions and DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission with the support of ERRIN

This Thematic Seminar on energy-related Research and Innovation (R&I) aims to raise awareness and foster exchange of information and best practice between the European Commission and the EU regions as well as among the regions themselves. The participants will be updated on the state-of-play on energy R&I policy developments. The recent developments of the Energy Package of the Union as well as of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET)-Plan and their implications for regions and cities will be presented. Experts in renewable energy, local and regional authorities and EU policy-makers will be brought together to discuss on R&I policy developments and optimising the coordination of different funding programmes and schemes to advance energy R&I on local and regional level. At the same time, the European Commission aims to gather information on the regions' R&I needs and on obstacles which may be hindering them from investing in energy R&I.

The Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP) is a concept jointly developed by the European Committee of the Regions and DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission. It is aimed at presenting new R&I solutions, innovative products and best practices in response to societal challenges facing the regions and cities of Europe. In 2017, the KEP will address the themes of Energy and Public Sector Innovation.

Detailed agenda and registration.