The revised EUSDR Action Plan aims at contributing to supporting the Danube Region use its potential at full power. Consisting of 12 priorities and 85 related actions, the EUSDR represents a framework to improve the living standards in the region. Considering all actions and fields of activity, European, national and regional funds are necessary to support investments, to identify innovative approaches, to facilitate best practice exchange, to harmonize policies, to build capacities, to consolidate civil society.
Joint Actions comprise of coordinated cooperation by building networks, offering mutual learning, striving for harmonization, aligning policies, building capacities, strengthening civil society and voluntary service, and more. One of the opportunities available right now is mobilizing funding possibilities and ensure that the objectives and actions of the EUSDR are fairly represented within the financing priorities in all partner countries. The common aim of every action is to mutually benefit and generate concrete improvements in the Danube Region.
The revised EUSDR Action Plan (with all 85 actions) would be hard to utilize in the embedding process. Therefore, a shortlist of two to a maximum of three strategic topics per Priority Area would need to be generated based on a common denominator. The Priority Area Coordinators are responsible to establish this shortlist and once it is final, the list will be refined and transferred at national level by the National Coordinators.
While doing so, emphasis should be placed on the eligibility for European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) and Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) funds, the relevance for as many EUSDR participating states as possible and the viable links to Annexes D of the European Semester Country Reports 2019 and 2020, and Implementation reports from non-EU countries.
The strategic topics should meet the following criteria:
- Distinct, undisputed macro-regional relevance within the proposed priority (not necessarily all countries need to apply the same, but the conglomerate of activities should show the clear macro-regional relevance)
- Consistency with highly possible priorities to be set at the national/regional level
- Eligible for funding under the regulatory framework proposed by the Commission for the period 2021-2027.
- Linkage to the Annexes D of the EU country reports 2019 and 2020 and Implementation reports from non-EU countries (if applicable)
- Inclusion of EUSDR horizontal themes, if possible
Based on the the importance of coordinated measures within macro-regional strategies benefiting from resources of EU programmes, the proposals for the Regulation on ERDF, ESF Plus, Cohesion Fund, EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund for 2021-2027, stipulate that each programme shall set out a summary of the main challenges considering the relevant macro-regional and sea-basin strategies . Same rule applies for each specific objective, therefore in a while we will all know where and how our joint actions mirror themselves among the financial opportunities
Under the Croatian presidency, DSP is currently assisting the EUSDR Governance in this dynamic process and more information will become available once the programming phase will reach its end towards launching the implementation.