The 4th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, jointly organised by the European Commission, the State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Ulm will take place on 29 and 30 October 2015 at the Trade Fair Ulm. Please save the date for the most important event of the year for the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

Register here: http://www.danube-forum-ulm.eu/danube-forum-ulm

Under the title "Smart, social, sustainable - Innovation for the Danube Region", the forum will put a strong emphasis on topics such as innovation, professional training and dual education, entrepreneurship and civil society as key factors for a sustainable and integrative growth in the Danube Region. Several thematic sessions will give the participants of the conference the opportunity 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. Additionally there will be many networking opportunities and interactive offers like workshops, panel discussions and an exhibition area.

The second call for project proposals of the initiative START – Danube Region Project Fund has been officially launched. The call will be open from the 20th of May until the 8th of July 2015.
All relevant documents for the application can be found in the START section of the Priority Area 10 website until the 6th of July 2015.

Due to the great success of the Technical Assistance Facility for Danube Region Projects (TAF-DRP) initiative, the European Commission decided to launch a second phase of TAF-DRP with a third call. The call will be open from the 20th May until the 26th of June 2015.

Application documents and information are available on the TAF-DRP section of the Priority Area 10 website until the 24th of June 2015.

The project "DORA - DonauRaum App Award" is looking for an app that shows how the cultural and touristic dimensions of the Danube region can be experienced in an innovative way. Young talents from the Danube region are invited to submit their idea of an app and a first prototype or concept. A high-level jury will judge the applications and choose the best ideas. The finalists will be invited to an Award Ceremony, which is likely to take place as part of the Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region in Ulm, Germany on October 29th, 2015.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the DORA website.

The Competition

Within the project "DORA - DonauRaum App Award" a competition will be organized, to show how the cultural and touristic dimension of the Danube region can be experienced in an innovative way by making use of newest technologies.

Young talents from the Danube region are invited to submit their idea of an app and a first prototype or concept. A high-level jury will judge the applications and choose the best ideas.

The finalists will be invited to an Award Ceremony, which is likely to take place as part of the Annual Forum of the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) in Ulm, Germany on October 29th, 2015.

- See more at: http://donauraumapp2015.istart.org/#sthash.nIXlarWT.dpuf

The European Green Leaf is a new competition aimed at cities, with between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants, to recognise their achievements in green growth. The recognition is given to a city that demonstrates a good environmental record & green growth commitment; actively seeks to develop citizens environmental awareness; and can act as a "green ambassador" to encourage other cities. The European Green Leaf will be awarded on an annual basis by the European Commission in conjunction with the European Green Capital Award from 2015 onwards as a stamp of approval to Smaller Cities, Growing Greener!

Applications can be submitted until 31 March 2015 online. Detailed instructions on how to apply, including a guidance note can be found at ec.europa.eu/europeangreenleaf .

The S3 Platform is launching an online survey on examples of successful inter-regional and trans-national R&I partnerships implementing past and current innovation strategies. Your proposals will serve for the establishment of a repository of cases which will then allow discussing practices applied in order to find possible supporting instruments and measures tackling the bottle-necks of trans-national R&I cooperation. The most inspiring and relevant examples will presented at various upcoming events. The S3 Cooperation survey is available here. The deadline to fill in the online survey has been extended until 28 February 2015.

The government of Baden-Württemberg will host and set up the Danube Strategy Point (DSP) in its Representation to the European Union in the European quarter in Brussels. The DSP is a new element in the governance of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR).


The overall objective for establishing the DSP is to improve the implementation process of the EUSDR and to help to improve its governance by enhancing and strengthening the cooperation and interaction and by creating synergies between the responsible stakeholders and organisations in the Danube Region.


With establishing the DSP, the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission and the National Coordinators of the EUSDR are implementing a key point of the Report from the European Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 20 May 2014 concerning the governance of macro-regional strategies.


After a pilot-phase of two years, the DSP will be subject to an evaluation of its performance and efficiency.


The DSP will also administer funds originating from the EU institutions in the framework of Technical Assistance for the Priority Areas in the EUSDR for the years 2015-2016.


The government of Baden-Württemberg will therefore recruit six fulltime staff members for the DSP:

  • 1 Head of DSP
  • 1 Deputy Head of DSP / Senior Officer
  • 1 Senior officer
  • 1 Financial Officer
  • 1 Administration Officer
  • 1 Secretary / Team Assistant

For more information about these positions and how to apply, please visit the government of Baden-Württemberg website.

On January 19th 2015, the selected applicants for the first call of the pilot initiative 'START Danube Region Project Fund' were notified by email of their selection. Applications went through a thorough assesment which involved the relevant Priority Area Coordination (including Steering Groups) and a final Plausibility Check conducted by PA10 (taking under consideration the thematic and geographic balance).

For more details, visit the START homepage of PA10.

On 18 November 2014 the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) was officially launched in the Square Conference Centre in Brussels. To read the statements made at the launch by Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, visit the Inforegio website. To find out more about the EUSAIR, visit www.adriatic-ionian.eu.

The Council Conclusions on the governance of macro-regional strategies were published on 21 October 2014. The Conclusions reiterate most of the recommendations of the European Commission Report on this topic adopted in May 2014 and calls for an effective governance model.

Communicating about Interreg and macro-regional / sea-basin strategies is not always easy, especially when it comes to writing interesting and engaging texts that resound with a wider audience. For this reason INTERACT is organising a workshop that will not only help you find your organisation's story and write it in a clear and effective way, it will also teach you how to train others.

The workshop will be divided into two sessions: a one-day session on storytelling led by two storytelling experts / trainers from MSLGroup, an internationally recognised communications agency, and a half-day session on clear writing by the Plain English Campaign, an organisation that has been working towards jargon-free public information since the 1970s.

MSLGroup:
Andrew MacDougall - MSLGROUP Senior Executive Consultant; former director of communications to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Dominic Payling - MSLGROUP Insight & Planning Director; 20+ years of communications experience gained in both leading consultancy and in-house positions
Plain English Campaign: Peter Holmes - 20+ years of English teaching and training experience

To find out about which topics will be covered, please see the draft agenda on the INTERACT website.

You will go away from this event not only with the story you have developed, but also with a toolkit including presentations, tips, a literature review of top storytelling publications, research and websites, and training materials. The kit will help you with your own story writing and enable you to pass on the information to your colleagues and project partners.

In order to be able to provide an interactive session and individual feedback, the workshop is limited to 30 participants: 15 from Interreg programmes and 15 from macro-regional / sea basin strategies. Please note that only one participant from each programme or organisation will be admitted, but don't worry – as mentioned above, that person will be given the tools they need to share what they have learned!

Another important point: registration for this event requires agreeing to a pre-workshop assignment (yes, that's right – homework!). In order to be able to be able to tailor the workshop to your needs, we ask you to please submit a text no longer than 800 words by the end of October 2014 where you tell a story about some aspect of your work. This can be drawn from already existing communication materials (about a project, cooperation in general, an event, etc.), or you can write a new text. You will submit this text directly to the trainers / storytelling experts who will give you individual feedback during the event. As always, please wait to receive a confirmation email before booking any travel or accommodation.

To register, please go to the event page on the INTERACT website.

The European Commission organised a tweetchat on 25 September to discuss macro-regional strategies. Follow up on the discussion on Storify.

The first call for project proposals of the new Priority Area 10 pilot initiative "START - Danube Region Project Fund" was a great success, with 871 applications received, stemming from all Danube Region countries. The largest number of applications come from Slovenia, Serbia and Hungary.

The results of the assessment and selection procedure will be communicated by the end of the year.

For more information on START, please visit the START section of the Priority Area 10 website.