The Danube Strategy Point, jointly with the DG REGIO, the incumbent Slovak EUSDR Presidency and the former Croatian EUSDR Presidency and organised three meetings dedicated to support the Ukrainian National Coordinators’ team in preparing Ukraine’s future EUSDR Presidency, starting in November 2021.
Considering that Ukraine is the first non-EU country to be holding the EUSDR Presidency also shows a strong political will and commitment towards the Danube Strategy, creating a more efficient and coordinated cooperation within the EUSDR and within the Presidency structures, supported by the DG REGIO and Danube Strategy Point.
A series of three meetings organised in April 2021 focused on the following fields: the EUSDR core governance and its stakeholders; the guiding (political and thematic) role of the EUSDR presidency; the main milestones of the EUSDR presidency mandate in reflecting EU and national priorities as well as the question of embedding the EUSDR into EU-funding programmes.
Jean-Pierre HALKIN, Head of Unit for Macro-regions, Transnational, Interregional, External Cooperation, Enlargement Unit within DG REGIO, underlined the importance of Ukraine EUSDR Presidency also sending a signal of commitment towards the EUSDR and towards good relations with the European Union. In his statement Mr. Halkin pointed out that next to the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, the European Green Deal, COVID-19 Recovery Plan and the Digital Strategy are of particular importance and guidance for the EUSDR in the coming years. Mr. Halkin also welcomed this series of meetings, organised by the DSP, ensuring a smooth and efficient implementation of the MRS.
Representatives of the current Slovakian EUSDR Presidency and the former Croatian Presidency expressed their commitment to support future Ukrainian EUSDR Presidency in the preparations of the Presidency programme, as well as during the Ukrainian mandate in 2022, also securing and strengthening the cooperation within the EUSDR TRIO-Presidency institution. The Croatian and Slovak Presidency experiences have been shared as best practises, both through collaborative formats for coordination of policies and through the implementation of the political and thematic priorities. Both countries committed to provide guidance to the EUSDR Ukrainian National coordination whenever necessary.
The Slovak EUSDR Presidency expressed its full support for the future Ukrainian presidency, especially as one its presidency’s priorities are the cooperation with non-EU countries and their stronger involvement into the activities of the Danube Strategy. Following up on this, the Slovak Presidency reassured the Ukrainian partners of its full support and assistance during their presidency in 2022.
Starting with 1st November 2021 Ukraine will become the first non-EU country taking the mandate of the Presidency for all 14 EUSDR member states. As EUSDR chair, Ukraine commits to share the initiatives of the countries that chaired the EUSDR before and take all necessary measures to achieve tangible results especially the implementation of the 2020 revised Action Plan.
As the EUSDR’s strategic support, the Danube Strategic Point works in close cooperation with the EUSDR Presidency, the European Commission and other stakeholders and improve the performance, support the implementation of the Strategy, its visibility, concrete outputs and sound governance. To this purpose, the DSP supports the Presidency and core stakeholders in strategic processes, content issues, technical and organisational matters. With this activity the DSP also supports capacity building for Strategy stakeholders, enhancing the in-depth knowledge about the EUSDR implementation processes and shows good practices inside the Strategy expand the outreach to the regional/national levels.