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News EU Council Conclusions on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region

At a General Affairs Council meeting on 13 April 2011, the Council endorsed the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, taking note of the annexed Action Plan that was elaborated by the European Commission on the basis of a consultation with the Member States, third countries and other stakeholders. The Council stressed that the implementation of the strategy should be launched without delay and agreed that a governance structure for its implementation and follow-up is required, therefore encouraging the EU Member States concerned, in particular their National Contact Points and their Priority Area Coordinators, to facilitate the start of the implementation.

In the conclusions adopted, the Council acknowledges the contribution that the EU Strategy for the Danube Region can make to the further integration of the internal market and to economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as its contribution to fostering cooperation with third countries in the Danube river basin and its assistance to participating candidate and potential candidate countries on their European path. According to the Council, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region has a strategic framework guided by the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Sustainable Development Strategy, thus its potential to contribute to long-term objectives (such as smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and competitiveness of the EU) is ensured.

The Council emphasizes the importance of due involvement of all EU Member States and all interested stakeholders at transnational, regional and local level (as appropriate) in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and recognizes that the inclusion and participation of third countries is crucial if the desired objectives of the strategy are to be achieved. It invites the Commission and the concerned Member States to support the aims of the strategy by facilitating the coordination of existing EU funds and instruments and by simplifying the relevant rules of implementation to enable quick and effective project generation and implementation, with the potential support of financial institutions relevant for the realisation and funding of the strategy.

The concerned Member States and the Commission are invited to explore the possible interconnections and synergies between the two existing macro-regional strategies: the one for the Baltic Sea Region and the one for the Danube Region. The Council also calls upon them to ensure full transparency and visibility in the implementation process and further development of the strategy, as well as to disseminate to all Member States information, good practices and lessons learned in view of possible future macro-regional strategies.

The Commission is called to clarify the concept of macro-regional strategies, to evaluate their value added and submit the outcomes to the Council and the European Parliament by June 2013. Finally, the Council invites the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to continue working on possible future macro-regional strategies.

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News type Inbrief
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Keyword(s) European Union, Water governance, action programme, cross-border relation, basin authority, multiple-objective planning, regional cooperation, water management, water policy
Geographical coverage Hungary,Belgium,
News date 07/06/2011
Working language(s) ENGLISH