Paralell to the 2016 International Tourism Fair (ITB) the Permanent Representation of Baden-Württemberg organised the 4th Danube Salon on Friday 11th March in Berlin. The event is an initiative of Minister Peter Friedrich, aiming to deliver important impulses for the further development of touristic and cultural partnerships in the Danube region. Renata Pindžo, Serbia´s Vice Minister for Tourism also attended the event, emphasising the need for closer cooperation at various levels in order to create a stronger brand identity for Danube countries bound together by their common history, culture and creativity.
EUSDR Priority Area 2 will host a side event at the UN conference European Habitat, which will be held in Prague on 16 to 18 March, 2016. The regional conference is organised within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as an official part of preparations for the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development “Habitat III” this autumn. Representatives from all countries from Europe will meet and discuss “Housing in Liveable Cities” and Priority Area 2 “To Encourage More Sustainable Energy” of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region will be focusing on energy realated issues.
PA 2´s workshop "Cities in motion of energy transition: how technology and data help urban development", will present innovative projects on energy efficiency, energy poverty and transition to low-carbon cities. Representatives of the newly launched Urban Innovation Initiative, POCACITO project, ACHIEVE project, Smart region Vrchlabí and UNDP Croatia will be taking part to discuss how innovative approaches to energy can be used by urban planners with the aim to solve arising energy challenges in the urban agenda. The workshop will be hold on the 16th March from 16:00 – 17:30 in Prague.
Registration to the European Habitat conference and for the workshop via this link:
The Call aims at assisting local authorities in better integrating marginalised people, in particular non-nationals of Roma ethnicity.
This call for proposals encompasses a range of options to allow applicants to devise an approach tailored to address their needs, within the scope of capacity-building and transnational cooperation.
Deadline for applications is 29 April 2016 at 17:00 CET
WATER JPI 2016 JOINT CALL FOR TRANSNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS
TOPIC: Water and Agriculture Challenges
The Water and FACCE JPIs pre-announce the upcoming call for transnational collaborative research projects. The indicative total available budget amounts to 26M€, subject to the successful negotiation of the WaterWorks2015 ERA-NET Cofund with the European Commission. The closing date for pre-proposals on 19.04.2016.
Sustainable management of water resources in agriculture, forestry and freshwater aquaculture sectors by:
- Increasing the efficiency and resilience of water uses;
- Monitoring and reducing soil and water pollution;
- Integrating social and economic dimensions into the sustainable management and governance of water resources.
The 2016 LIFE Call is provisionally planned to be published during the second half of May. Please find below an indicative timetable for the call:
CALL FOR INTEREST for Technical Assistance support project
for the coordination of EUSDR Priority Area 5 - Environmental Risks
Danube Strategy Point invites the eligible Priority Area Coordinator for PA 5 to present a project proposal for Technical Assistance support with the objective of supporting coordination of Priority Area 5 (Environmental Risks) of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (hereafter EUSDR).
Technical Assistance provides financial support in order to help the Priority Area Coordinator in coordination and implementation of the EUSDR (in respective Priority Area) and facilitation/preparation of integrated projects.
The project proposal must be submitted by the eligible Priority Area Coordinator. Although each Priority Area Coordinator is to submit its own project application, applications must be coordinated and synchronised with other Priority Area Coordinator on the level of the Priority Area. The project selected for financing must present clear connection and contribution to the Action Plan defined for the Priority Area (including planning, targets, indicators and timetables) as well as effective measures for (facilitating) cooperation between project promoters, programmes and funding sources.
The project application must contain full, detailed and complete information with regards to eligibility, procedures, co-financing rates and all other relevant details.
Please note that the conditions laid down in each document of the application will be binding on the successful applicant; so please read them carefully.
The maximum total amount of Technical Assistance support is 60,000.00 EUR.
Reimbursement of 95% of the eligible costs of the project (up to the maximum total amount of Technical Assistance support) applies.
The eligibility period for the Priority Area Coordinator’s activities is in general from 15 February 2016 to 31 December 2016.
Further details on eligible costs and rules on their eligibility can be found in application documents, especially Eligibility Rules - Annex IV.
The project application must be completed using the application documents (templates) only and signed by the legal representative of the applicant.
Complete project application should be composed of:
- duly completed and signed Project application form - Annex II;
- duly completed and signed Estimated budget of the project – Annex III a; and,
- copy of template agreement and Annex I, paragraphed on each page.
The application can be submitted via email (signed and scanned in PDF format) or by post until 15 February 2016, 12:00pm (Brussels time) – receipt time.
Late applications will not be considered. Submission of variations of the same project is not allowed. A request for additional information or information on the result of the assessment will be sent by the DSP to the applicant 30 days after the application deadline at the latest.
Nine cities with outstanding success in boosting innovation have reached the final stage of the European Capital of Innovation Award 2016 sponsored by the European Commission. From the Danube Region the City of Vienna has been selected as one amongst the 9 best pioneer cities.
36 cities from 12 countries applied to this year's competition to succeed Barcelona, the winner of the first European Capital of Innovation award in 2014. The contestants are cities with over 100,000 inhabitants from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020, the European research and innovation programme. The winner and two runners-up will be announced in spring 2016.
The Ministers responsible for Home Affairs and authorised representatives of the respective Ministries of the Danube Region countries, took part in the Ministerial Conference on Combating Terrorism in the Danube Region on 21 and 22 January 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria. PA 11 partners and stakeholders - Europol, the Danube Strategy Point, SELEC, Hanns Seidel Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation - were also attending the event.
Ministers agreed that in order to achieve efficiency in countering terrorism, the cooperation in the areas of prevention, border security, critical infrastructure protection from terrorist acts and information exchange should be intensified. They also shared the view that the common preventive capacity of the Danube Region should be strengthened through coordination of the national prevention strategies, regular exchange of experience and best practices and joint specialised training of experts where possible. To this end, the Ministers tasked their experts to consult further and propose specific common initiatives on countering terrorism in the Danube Region.
Coordinators of all EUSDR Priority Areas are meeting in Brussels on 14-15 January to discuss various operational and management iussues to be tackled throughout 2016.
The following topics are on the agenda:
1) General overview and state of play
3) Technical Assistance management
4) Financial management
5) EUSDR strategic projects and Reporting on Danube Strategy implementation
6) Embedding Macro-Regional Strategies in the EU Funding Programmes
7) Revision of EUSDR targets
Documents and presentations from the meeting can be downloaded below.
The European Union supports businesses and entrepreneurship through a wide range of programmes. Specific focus is given to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as they form the largest share of EU businesses and provide the majority of jobs and turnover. SMEs are also important for EU regional competitiveness, as they often operate on a local scale and play a crucial role in strong regional economies.
In addition to financial assistance, the EU offers various types of business support, such as information, advice and training. The EU also supports SMEs through regulatory changes, such as eliminating obstacles in cross-border trade and streamlining administrative procedures. Providing access to finance is, however, a major EU SME policy priority, as small enterprises encounter the greatest difficulties to procure funding. European SMEs rely predominantly on bank loans, therefore the EU not only provides direct grants, but also tries to increase the credit available to SMEs.
Additional steps are taken to develop innovative financing instruments, such as risk-sharing schemes and guarantees, in order to mobilise venture and equity investors, and to encourage expanded use of capital markets for financing SMEs. SMEs applying for EU funding can do so via several sources. Grants from the European Structural and Investment Funds, which finance cohesion policy, are accessed through calls for application published by national and regional authorities who manage the funds. Various financial instruments (such as loans and microcredits), provided by the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund, are available through local financial intermediaries, who offer loans to SMEs on preferential terms. Lastly, SMEs can apply directly for funding by programmes managed by the European Commission, such as Horizon 2020, COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium- sized Enterprises) and others, in areas including environment, transport, research and innovation.
Read the full report here:
Shift2Rail, the Joint Undertaking backed by the Commission and the rail industry, has today published its first calls for proposals, endowed with €170 million to support innovation in railways. The Commission will contribute €90 million, with the other €80 million being brought by the members of Shift2Rail.
In order to be funded, projects will have to demonstrate their ability to increase the quality, reliability and punctuality of rail services while cutting its costs and facilitating cross-border travel. This first batch of calls covers the five Shift2Rail Innovation Programmes and is split into two categories: calls reserved for Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking members only, for a total value of €63.7 million, and open calls for a total value of €26.1 million. The open calls will be available to companies, universities, research institutes and others who are not Shift2Rail members.
The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) is a new public-private partnership in the rail sector, established under Horizon 2020, to provide a platform for coordinating research activities with a view to driving innovation in the rail sector in the years to come. It was established on 7 July 2014, following the entry into force of Council Regulation (EU) No 642/2014 of 16 June 2014 establishing the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking .
For more information : http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/rail/shift2rail_en.htm
The Hungarian leadership of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) Water Quality and Environmental Risks Priority Areas held its Second Stakeholder Seminar in Budapest on 19-20 November 2015 paying special attention to the issue of funding possibilities. The event provided a comprehensive cooperation platform and offered an opportunity for alignment of funding with cohesion policy instruments and other potential sources specifically for water stakeholders.
Dozens of water management projects aiming at engaging international partners as well as development ideas of water management bodies of each country were presented by 162 participants and 42 speakers from 11 countries in Budapest. The European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and the newly set up Danube Strategy Point representatives were present, similarly to several international water organizations and water experts from Danube countries.
Mr István JOÓ, the host Hungarian Danube Region Strategy Ministerial Commissioner stressed that issues such as water quality or flood protection cannot be treated efficiently at national level and the success of the regional approach is clearly reflected by the improved water quality of Danube River. Hungary is coordinating the Danube regional cooperation and helping the non-EU member States integration efforts on areas of particular importance – such as energy, water quality or flood protection.
The Seminar’s keynote speakers emphasised that five years after the launch of the EUSDR the integration is strengthened among EU and non-EU countries and the Danube Transnational Programme has been launched with about 263 million euros grant. Mr Matija VILFAN, Head of the Danube Strategy Point, who chaired the first session pointed out that cooperation between the Danube Countries has entered into a new phase, meaning a more policy oriented debate and more focus on funding opportunities. Mr Marco ONIDA, Team Leader of the European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy reminded that countries still face challenges, better promotion of innovation, business support in water management, and stronger cooperation between countries is required. Adequate strategic planning is requested from Danube countries and the focus has to be put on the results to be in line with Europe2020 Strategy and beside joint cooperation more efficient use of funds is requested.
Following the keynote speeches of Hungarian, Slovakian and Romanian national coordinators and representatives the Water Quality and Environmental Risks Priority Area Coordinators of the Danube Strategy presented their state of play, followed by presentations of the Joint Research Centre and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), focusing on science, policy and programme of measures 2015-2021.
In the second session the participants had a possibility to learn about the financial possibilities in the current programming period and were offered presentations about many programmes, such as about the key features and opportunities of Financial Instruments under ESI Funds 2014-2020, about Horizon 2020, the LIFE Programme, the Central Europe Programme, the Danube Transnational Programme, the Cross Border Cooperation Programs and the financing possibilities within the European Investment Bank.
In the third session of the first day successful project examples and best water sector practices were demonstrated (such as Watlife, URBAN_WFTP, SEE River and FLOODRISK projects) and experienced speakers shared their views about how to establish water consortium for projects in the new calls.
The 2nd day offered the possibility for partner search process: focused presentations were shared with the audience from Austria, Czech Republic, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary presenting country needs and assists in the alignment of funding procedure for future project beneficiaries by promoting further project ideas. Representatives of EIP Water Secretariat, the European Water Association and the Global Water Partnership shared their views on successful project set ups for water. Based on prefilled networking templates participants could take the floor to present their project ideas and networking needs in front of the plenary.
Finally, as a closing event the conference provided a unique platform for networking in four different sessions with experienced moderators: 1. Water scarcity, regional drought management; 2. Water security, regional safety centres, floods; 3. Water quality innovations and 4. Water management: fisheries, resource efficient water management, groundwater. The importance of cross-region cooperation and project development have been repeatedly mentioned; specific cooperation options have been explored, such as sharing best available practices in using innovations and the need to create special calls for bringing innovation on the market. The networking sessions proved to be a success, participants expressing strong interest in follow up events and further assistance from the Danube Strategy in the alignment of funding that could result in joint projects.
Danube Competence Center (DCC)
in cooperation with the Danube Strategy Point of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) Priority Area 3 “To promote culture, tourism and people-to-people contact”, the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia (NTO) with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) project „Regional program to strengthen the cross border tourism at the Middle and Lower Danube“ and the Regional Development Agency of Bačka
are cordially inviting you to the panel discussion
“Living the future on the Danube”
SMART Growth – Is tourism an answer for economic challenges in the Danube region?
Monday, 7 December 2015, 18h30 – 22h30
Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union, Rue Belliard 60-62, Brussels
19h00 Welcome address by Matija Vilfan, Head of the Danube Strategy Point
Panel discussion with contributions by
Michael Cramer MEP, Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, European Parliament
Carlo Corazza, Head of Unit "Tourism, Creative and Emerging Industries", DG GROW, EC
Marek Przeor, Team Leader “Smart and Sustainable Growth”, DG Regional and Urban Policy, EC
Gordana Plamenac, Chairman of the Board of Directors, DCC, Belgrade, Serbia
Helge Grammerstorf, Chairman of the IG River Cruise, Basel, Switzerland
The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.
The panel discussion will highlight the main tourism development issues of the Danube region and how they are interlinked with other spheres important for strengthening and connecting the Danube region. The panelists will point out topics such as SMART Specialization agenda along the Danube, labour mobility, accessibility and territorial identity of the region.
The National Tourism Organisation of Serbia as the founding member of the DCC and contributor to EUSDR PA3 “To promote culture, tourism and people-to-people contact” will use the opportunity to show the promotional film as part of its thematic campaign for 2016 “Danube Serbia – 588 impressions”, created with the support of Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the DCC.
Find more information about the DCC at www.danubecc.org and www.danube.travel or download our portfolio from: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8VCv_o91WPbcExMeXpJWEM5Tmc/edit