Dear friends of the Danube Region Strategy,

After the turn of the year activities in the Danube Region Strategy are back in full swing!
But before we give you an update on the latest and upcoming EUSDR activities in 2021, let us first take stock of our
most important milestones of 2020:

Despite the pandemic state, in 2020 the EUSDR was able to jointly push forward several crucial actions and processes. The EUSDR Action Plan was successfully revised and the governance of the EUSDR, aiming to support a more efficient implementation of the Strategy, was further developed: The Governance Architecture Paper was published and the National Coordinators Rules of Procedure were updated.

Further key documents were released, such as ECs 3rd report on the implementation of macro-regional strategies, the new EUSDR Communication Strategy and the EUSDR Implementation Report 2019. A Needs Assessment on the engagement in Steering Groups was prepared and will be issued soon in 2021.

Under the Croatian EUSDR Presidency the first completely online 9th EUSDR Annual Forum was held, with more than 730 participants. The Ministers responsible for the EU Strategy for the Danube Region expressed their support for the EUSDR, the embedding process and for EUSDR activities to foster the EU enlargement process in a Joint Statement.

Starting with November 2020, Slovakia took over the Presidency of the EUSDR for 2021 and started the new year in full force by hosting the meeting of National Coordinators on 13th January 2021.

Read more about the priorities of the Slovak EUSDR Presidency
and upcoming events below!

Kind regards
Your DSP Team

Priorities of the Slovak EUSDR Presidency

Photo by Sebastian Schuppik on Unsplash

During the first informal NC-PAC Meeting under the Slovak EUSDR Presidency in November 2020 National Coordinators Michal Blaško and Frantisek Kolocany introduced their fellow EUSDR stakeholders to the Slovak EUSDR Presidency programme for 2021.

Our Slovak colleagues announced to bring cooperation in the Danube Region forward with full force and motivation, focussing on: 

- Follow-up to the Revision of the EUSDR Action Plan
- Focus on making better use of EU funds (Embedding)
- Involvement of various actors in the implementation of the Strategy
- Participation of non-EU countries in the Strategy
- Issues related to migration and climate change
- Digitalisation, innovations, informatisation

Further details on the programme and activities of the Slovak EUSDR Presidency are available here.

We wish our Slovak colleagues all the best for their EUSDR Presidency 2021!

Webinars on the EuroAccess Macro-Regions Tool

Image by EuroVienna

For optimal use of the upcoming EU financing opportunities, the DSP kindly invites all core stakeholders of the EUSDR (NCs, PACs, SG members and their teams) to participate in the webinar on the EuroAccess Macro-Regions Tool on 20th January 2021 (10:00 – 12:30 CET), taking place online via Webex.

The overall objective of this webinar is the introduction of EuroAccess Macro-Region and the use of the web tool in identifying suitable funding programmes and calls for the countries and regions of the Danube Region. This should lead to a better understanding of the complex EU funding landscape and facilitate the application of projects within existing funding schemes to improve regional and macro-regional development.

Register now for 20th January / 10:00-12:30 CET
Meeting of EUSDR National Coordinators

Photo by the Danube Strategy Point

The first EUSDR NC Meeting organised under the Slovak EUSDR Presidency took place online on 13th January 2021. The main topics on the agenda were:

- EUSDR Governance (EUSDR Presidency mandate for 2022 / TRIO Presidency and the appointment of a National Coordinator for Bosnia & Herzegovina)

- EUSDR Embedding - State of Play & Next steps (MA Networks & related events, Finalisation of the screening for feasibility/suitabitlity of the shortlisted strategic topics on national levels, ESPON territorial scenarios 2050 & Embedding, Monitoring of Embedding, Revision of PA Roadmaps)

- The Future of DTP 2 - Support of the Programme towards the EUSDR

EUSDR PAC workshop: Prerequisites for successful EUSDR implementation

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

In the framework of strengthening the EUSDR core governance and in particular the EUSDR Priority Area Coordinators, the Danube Strategy Point and Interact will hold a workshop dedicated to identifying prerequisites for the most efficient and impactful work of Priority Area Coordinators. During the online workshop on 19th January 2021 (10:00-12:00 CET) Priority Area Coordinators will jointly plan the implementation of EUSDR relevant topics.

Prerequisites will be identified through practical work – modelling (co-creating and jointly planning) the implementation of an EUSDR relevant topic. Participants will jointly define desired long-term change; processes; activities; stakeholders who can bring about the desired change; possible bottlenecks, needed capacities; concrete responsibilities and types of support required from other EUSDR (governance) stakeholders.

EUSDR Task Force Embedding Meeting

Photo by the Danube Strategy Point

In the course of the first two meetings of the Task Force Embedding (EMB-DR) in early 2020, it became clear that the revised EUSDR Action Plan (with all its 85 actions) would be hard to utilise in the embedding process. Therefore, PACs together with the SGs compiled a shortlist of three strategic topics per PA, based on the EUSDR Action Plan, to be included in the relevant national/regional operational programmes. The shortlist was endorsed by NCs in October 2020. Further information on the embedding process is available here.

Following up the above described process, the following points will be at the core of the 3rd meeting of the EUSDR Task Force Embedding on 22nd January:

- Identification of priorities or objectives within national programming processes (preparation of a new Partnership Agreement) with best potential and possibilities for embedding the EUSDR
- Bottlenecks in the embedding process in EUSDR participating states
- Required assistance or guidance from EUSDR bodies (DSP, NCs, PACs, EC)
- Thematic areas with best opportunities for synchronised calls focused on embedding the EUSDR (Synchronised calls are calls run in parallel in a number of countries on the same time aimed at the same specific topics. The objective is to achieve a synergy and complementarity among various countries.)

Danube Region Network Meeting of Managing Authorities (ERDF+CF)

Photo by sps universal on Unsplash

On behalf of the Slovak EUSDR Presidency, the DSP invites all ERDF & CF managing authorities from the Danube Region to a workshop on embedding the EUSDR into EU Funding Programmes. The workshop will be held online on 29th January 2021 and aims to facilitate exchange between national and regional managing authorities responsible for ERDF & CF. A date for the IPA III and NDICI network meeting will be specified in due time (planned for April 2021).

2nd EU Macro-Regional Strategies Week of the European Commission

Photo by the Danube Strategy Point

Make sure to save the date for the 2nd EU Macro-Regional Strategies (MRS) Week taking place from 1st to 5th March 2021 under the motto


The purpose of the second edition of the EU MRS Week is to digitally Reconnect MRS key implementers, stakeholders and representatives of EU institutions to Rethink the way to cooperate and prioritise MRS objectives in order to best Recover from the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 with concrete actions on the ground. In that context, the embedding process will be a key driver for MRS to thrive post-2020 and among the key topics to be discussed during the week.

The 2nd MRS Week will be structured as follows:

1st March: Opening session with participation of Commissioner Ferreira, followed by bottom-up sessions to empower participation of Youth and of Civil Society Organisations in MRS, and on MRS support to recover from COVID-19 

2nd March: Individual meetings of the four MRS (EUSBSR, EUSDR, EUSAIR, EUSALP)

3rd March: Embedding workshops (ERDF, IPA, ENI) and the opening session on how EU funding programmes directly managed by the European Commission (e.g. Horizon, Life etc.) can support the implementation of MRS as a kick-start for the focus of the next day

4th March: Individual sessions on EU funding programmes directly managed by the European Commission

5th March: 13th High-Level Group Meeting, followed by the 4th MRS Presidency and Trio Meeting, co-organised by the French Presidency of the EUSALP

Registration will open at the beginning of February 2021 and foresees personalised registration links with a pre-identified set of sessions per invitee.

Danube Strategy Point
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