EUSDR targets

(As established in the EUSDR Action Plan 2020 (COM(2020) 59 final)


  1. Achieve a notable improvement of the fairway conditions and shore side infrastructure along the Danube and its navigable tributaries, confirmed by the waterway users by means of an annual user survey
  2. Contribute to transnational business-to-business (B2B) meetings on an annual basis
  3. Promote the use of EU funds for fleet modernization and support the set-up of national funding schemes
  4. Ensure the online provision, availability and interoperability of up-to-date Fairway Information Services in the Danube Region
  5. Facilitate the implementation of the provisions of Directive 2017/2397 in all Danube riparian states, putting specific emphasis on non-EU riparian states
  6. Achieve a notable improvement of administrative procedures, especially border controls, in inland navigation on the Danube and its navigable tributaries by 2023, as confirmed by the waterway users by means of user surveys.


  1. To support completion of the TEN-T (rail and road) core network crossing the Danube Region by the end of 2030
  2. To establish a permanent and regular cooperation with PA 1a on multimodal transport issues, e.g. a joint Working Group or joint SG meetings, beginning in 2020. – To establish a Working Group to examine and propose solutions to remove cross-border administrative, as well as operational and technical barriers for rail and road transport, and support the deployment of traffic management systems (ERTMS) by end of 2025, to support – not to duplicate – , where needed, the work of existing structures such as the Core Network Corridors and the RFC
  3. To support the full implementation of SESAR in the Danube Region by end of 2023
  4. To identify relevant and innovative approaches for urban mobility in the EUSDR, facilitate knowledge transfer and exchange of best practices
  5. To establish a working group to examine and propose solutions to remove cross-border administrative, as well as operational and technical barriers for rail and road transport, and support projects related to better transport connectivity
  6. To support the development of efficient multimodal terminals at sea, river and dry ports in the Danube Region and ensure their connectivity and access through the integration of all modes of transport and efficient logistics services by 2030; and to increase the number of inland ports and transshipment sites (“hubs”) with sufficient accessibility by water, rail and road by ten “hubs” in the whole Danube Region until 2030
  7. To halve the number of fatal and serious road traffic injuries from 2020 to 2030


  1. Supporting each ESUDR country to reach its national target by 2030 in order to contribute to the collaborative EU 30% renewable energy in the overall use by 2030 while complying with the National Emission Ceilings
  2. To support that at least five obsolete fossil-fuel based district heating systems planned to be modernized / transformed to be RES based by 2025
  3. Supporting alternative fuel based local transport systems in at least 3 pilot areas by 2025
  4. Promoting and supporting the implementation of at least three new technology focused projects launched by 2025
  5. Provide a platform to follow the implementation of the CESEC action plan
  6. Elaboration of Energy Poverty Reduction Action Plan for the Danube Region
  7. Elaboration of a policy paper on subsurface energy storage potentials in the Danube Region and support the implementation of such projects
  8. At least five joint workshops, studies or position papers by 2025
  9. To generate 15 successful proposals, making use of all relevant funds and programmes, in the next programming period (until 2027)


No targets defined

Priority Area 4 – WATER QUALITY 

  1. Close knowledge gaps on monitoring of hazardous and emerging substances in surface waters, biota and sediment
  2. Determine sources and pathways of hazardous and emerging substances emissions
  3. Quantify water emissions and loads
  4. Implement prevention and mitigation measures including a more comprehensively evaluation of measures efficiency
  5. Contribute to capacity building in monitoring, modelling and management of hazardous substances pollution
  6. Contribute to improved quality of sediments
  7. Identify means to finance infrastructure projects especially in EU Member States that have joined after 2007 and non-EU countries
  8. Focus on investments in maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure
  9. Enhance and disseminate knowledge on wastewater treatment technologies also considering emerging substances
  10. Assist in strengthening capacity at national and local administration level as well as at utility level to improve financing, operation and technology of the wastewater infrastructure and services
  11. Promote alternative collection and treatment of wastewater in small rural settlements, including measures to build capacity at the regional and local level
  12. Decouple pollution and water scarcity from agricultural development
  13. Improve water demand management in agriculture by smart irrigation and water reuse in order to reduce water abstraction needs
  14. Make agro-environmental measures more attractive
  15. Provide appropriate information on modern technologies and tools to improve agricultural practices
  16. Promote good agricultural practices in nutrient management according to the Nitrates Directive (Council Directive 91/676/EEC) and Water Framework Directive
  17. Close knowledge gaps on measures efficiency
  18. Raise awareness related to the link between agricultural practices, water and soil quality and biodiversity
  19. Promote links with Air Quality Plans and National Air Pollution Control Programme (NAPCPs, mandatory under NECD) to make authorities and stakeholders understand how the described measures for water and agriculture can also help to improve air quality
  20. Contribute to EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) national strategic plans
  21. Contribute to resource efficiency and encourage deliberate and effective water consumption and a water saving culture by the civil and industrial consumers
  22. Raise public awareness towards the environment friendly, economic, efficient and safe water uses as well as strengthening the environmental consciousness of the public using social media, information materials and targeted guidance documents
  23. Promote water protection and pollution reduction from the source to tap, according to the proposed revision of the Drinking Water Directive
  24. Ensure safe drinking water supply via water quality early warning and safeguard zones. Increase the resilience of society and water supply systems against droughts by means of stimulating investments in alternative water sources and smart grids (i.e. linking networks of water providers), and enhancing planning of water availability (i.e. with reservoirs filling plans)
  25. Raise broad public awareness and political commitment for the Danube sturgeons as flagship species for the Danube River basin and for the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Danube River basin as a whole
  26. Foster sturgeon conservation activities including protection of habitats, restoration of fish migration routes and ex-situ conservation measures
  27. Close knowledge gaps concerning monitoring of pressures and planning of measures for fish migration in coordination with PA 6 (Action 3)
  28. Implement water quality measures of the ICPDR Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change
  29. Promote concrete measures to control water abstraction and groundwater overexploitation
  30. Promote the establishment and maintenance of green infrastructure and natural water retention measures (NWRMs)
  31. Promote water related measures in urban planning
  32. Raise farmers’ and public awareness about the importance of soil moisture and soil water retention capacity in soil fertility under changing climate conditions
  33. Ensure active involvement of and dialogue with all stakeholders
  34. Strengthen territorial cooperation at different levels
  35. Continue to support ICPDR in further developing water information systems in the Danube Region
  36. Strengthen and facilitate exchange of good practice in integrated water management implementation in the Danube Basin among decision-makers at all levels and all sectors
  37. Identify transboundary funds, which could finance and invest in measures outlined in the joint programme
  38. Collect information on water related financing needs
  39. Ensure consideration of climate change in planning and measures


  1. To realize at least five projects supporting the implementation of the Danube Flood Risk Management Plan and sub-basin flood risk management plans in 2021-2027
  2. Support the organization of bi-annual forecasting fora in the Danube Region
  3. To establish common minimum standards for civil protection organisations and fire and rescue services involved in international or cross-border disaster response in the Danube Region
  4. To support the development of AHS, CS and TMF inventories
  5. Support the implementation of the CCA by organizing an event focusing on CC effects in risk management planning


  1. Develop (in a participatory manner) a Danube Masterplan for the Conservation and Restoration of Biodiversity Values for mainstreaming into inland navigation programmes and integration with the navigation Master Plan for the Danube (Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries). The new Masterplan should focus on the identification of biodiversity hotspots, the common setting of conservation objectives, identifying priority sites for restoration, and measures for mainstreaming the biodiversity values into inland navigation programmes and integration with the navigation Master Plan (cooperation with PA 1A)
  2. Strengthen horizontal knowledge transfer and access to environmental data between national authorities responsible for nature conservation (especially those of neighbouring countries). For instance, use of Strategic Environmental Assessments for decision making, integration of the blue-green infrastructure into planning documents, supporting sustainable use of protected areas in order to increase support and feeling of ownership of local people, etc.
  3. In particular, sturgeons play an important ecological role as indicators of healthy ecosystems. The Danube River Basin preserves some of the most important wild sturgeon populations and functional habitats in the world today. Implementation of the Danube-related measures from the Pan-European action plan for sturgeon conservation will contribute to their protection and protection of other freshwater species and their habitats.
  4. Transboundary eradication plans could help ensure both pooling the resources and sustainability of applied measures. Apart from eradication measures, in order to be (more) successful, eradication plans should also include appropriate measures for restoration of the invaded ecosystems.
  5. Development of a common approach to define and determine ecological corridors for key target species on land and improve the communication, knowledge and data sharing between environmental, transport and spatial planning sectors on spatial integration of green and blue infrastructure.
  6. Establish the cooperation between the MRS approaches in establishing ecological connectivity and Green Infrastructure.
  7. Develop harmonised soil maps for the Danube Region. This includes preparation of data harmonisation and definition of scales and data formats in addition to numerous other activities (e.g. scientific workshops and collaboration on soil research). Apart from representing the basis for scientific and expert research, soil maps and related soil information will be used on local and regional level for awareness raising activities (targeting both the public and school children).
  8. To prepare a list of identified locations together with priority status and overview of location status that could be used for preparation of more detailed Remediation Plans (RPs). Risk management plans (RMPs) should address effective management systems on both national and regional level, including the best available techniques to prevent, control and mitigate environmental accidents. Prepared Remediation plans (RPs) should 1) summarise all data on the detected contaminants; 2) identify contaminants of concern and all the media affected (soil, water, air); 3) evaluate remedial options and describe methods used for selection of the preferable remedial strategy; 4) describe selected clean-up methods, their technical feasibility and implementation plan; 5) discuss control measures to minimise fugitive air emissions, surface water control, worker health and safety; 6) provide the information on the fate of residual contaminants, remedial verification and long-term environmental monitoring plans for sites of concern.
  9. Develop an Air Protection Programme for the Danube Region. Building on the JRC scientific support dedicated to this Priority Area, it should take into account institutional knowledge and capacity gaps, need for coordinated and harmonised actions, sectoral collaboration, as well as aim to develop and disseminate appropriate tools for air quality assessment and management, and propose actions to enhance air quality.

Priority Area 7 – KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY 

  1. To ensure continuation of successfully established platforms like the Danube IncoNet and the Danube Funding Coordination Network. To stimulate participation in EUREKA and EIT activities. To contribute to the fulfilment of the policy objective PO 1 “a smarter Europe” and to full compliance with European Research Area objectives and priorities. In particular, peer review standards and competitive funding practices shall be implemented consistently in Danube Region; the careers of young researchers as well as of female researchers shall be facilitated; the quality and professionalism of R&I management and administration in the institutions of the region shall be improved.
  2. Promote investment in research and innovation infrastructures, capacities and skills. Support the creation of new centres of excellence by 2030 as lighthouse projects for the modernization of the R&I system. In particular, support applications in the framework of Horizon’s “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation” to research institutions in less performing countries.
  3. Use European networking schemes such as COST and TWINNING as platforms for creating better connectivity between Danube research institutions. Encouraging research and academia in participating in transnational clusters. Making use of the European University Business Cooperation Framework (2018 study, Country reports 2017, University Business Fora)
  4. Support projects that aim at making the Danube Region more attractive for especially young and female researchers, supporting brain circulation and preventing brain drain
  5. To further promote, implement and make use of the smart specialisation strategies in the whole Danube Region. To continue close cooperation with national and EU institutions in charge (in particular with the JRC)


  1. Preparation of at least five concrete technology offers and requests
  2. Involvement of at least 10 new Danube actors in EU innovation and technology transfer financed projects
  3. Establishment of at least two Trans-Danube Digital Value Chains by Mid 2022
  4. Fostering the interplay between cluster initiatives and regional developers through at least one event until Dec 2021
  5. Development of at least one innovative and practical solution (tool) for strengthening female entrepreneurial skills in the digital age through at least one tailored event
  6. Organization of at least one networking event for exchange of experience between business and academia
  7. To co-invest together with Member States and regions in Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) that diffuse Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and High Performance Computing in all regions in Europe, possibly supported by the Digital Europe Programme. Concretely, to set up 5 new DIHs in the Danube Region until the end of 2024

Priority Area 9 – PEOPLE AND SKILLS

  1. Continue the cross-border dialogue by maintaining at least one Network-Meeting, one Peer Learning Meeting or one Stakeholder Conference per year
  2. Implement and maintain a “Working Group Digitalisation” together with Social Partners (one meeting per year)
  3. Implement a “Network Empowering Roma” together with PA10 (one meeting per year)
  4. Continue the cross-border dialogue by maintaining at least one Network-Meeting, one Peer Learning Meeting or one Stakeholder Conference per year
  5. Strengthen regional exchange, peer learning and cooperation in projects and networks (at least one activity and/or one new project/initiative per year) and make available a Danube Region monitoring tool on current developments in education and training systems
  6. Engage in regular stakeholder and networking meetings to continue the cross-border and transnational dialogue and initiate project development (at least one activity and/or one new project/initiative per year)
  7. Strengthen working together on similar policy challenges and make use of the potential of the Erasmus+ programme to increase the impact of macro-regional cooperation among education and training institutions (at least one activity and/or one new project/initiative per year)


  1. Building capacities for efficient, effective and transparent public administration through e-Government/digitalisation of public services
  2. Developing policy guidance for co-designing policies at all levels in the Danube Region
  3. Establishing structures to contribute to the facilitation of cross-border capacity building and cooperation through facilities such as cooperation platforms, knowledge transfer, and project development for cross-border public services
  4. Building capacities on funding possibilities at international, EU, national, regional, and local level and transnational project implementation through regular consultation formats (in synergy with the EuroAccess MacroRegion initiative)
  5. Continue and strengthen the exchange between the EUSDR and funding instruments in the Danube Region on transnational/macro-regional cooperation through network meetings at least once a year
  6. Developing at least one innovative funding instrument with a particular focus on needs of local actors and civil society
  7. Encouraging all EUSDR partner countries to involve national, regional and local authorities, as well as civil society organisations and further relevant stakeholders in the communication and implementation of the EUSDR through implementing national/regional Participation Days
  8. Supporting the empowerment of young people for participation in the development of the Danube Region through strategic guidance and the implementation of macro-regional networks
  9. Building capacities on participatory governance and involvement of civil society and local actors in cooperation with the Danube Local Actors Platform, the Danube Civil Society Forum, and/or further experts and stakeholders
  10. Implementing a Network “Empowerment Roma” together with Priority Area 9 (through at least one stakeholder meeting per year)

Priority Area 11 – SECURITY 

  1. To enhance cooperation between police units on operational and ministerial level to combat cross-border crime in particular in the Danube Region
  2. To intensify the prevention of and fight against terrorism
  3. To intensify the police cooperation in information security and combating cybercrime and hybrid threats
  4. To exchange experience, networking and cooperation in the field of smuggling, and addressing trafficking in human beings, drugs, excise goods and firearms. Under the EU strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings, prevention is the cornerstone of action, and providing better access to and realising the rights of the victims is a priority
  5. To strengthen and intensify the law enforcement cooperation in the field of property crime
  6. To establish a network of contact and coordination centres along the Danube River
  7. To further strengthen the cooperation with key stakeholders – Europol, Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) and others
  8. To establish standardised operational procedures for joint activities in case of transboundary technical-technological water traffic accidents
  9. To enhance cooperation between water police units in Danube Region
  10. To further develop well-functioning border-management systems
  11. To foster the cooperation and exchange of best practices on document inspection management
  12. To address the topic of better managing migration in the Danube Region
  13. To further enhance the joint efforts in combating corruption
  14. To foster the administrative cooperation and improvement of qualifications of law enforcement
  15. To identify further control procedures along Danube River ports to be harmonised within the joint expert group between PA 1a and PA 11
  16. To organise a Ministerial conference every three years