The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is a macro-regional strategy adopted by the European Commission in December 2010 and endorsed by the European Council in June 2011. The Strategy seeks to bring together 14 countries in order to coordinate development policies, to improve connections in the region, to promote environmental protection, to increase prosperity and to strengthen the region. The 14 countries covering EUSDR differ considerably in terms of their development level and position in relation to the EU. It includes 9 EU member states: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia; 4 candidate countries: Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine and 1 potential candidate country: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
BACKGROUND OF THE STRATEGY:
Following discussions and common understanding of the participating countries regarding the need for such macro-regional strategy, in 2009, the European Council formally asked the European Commission to prepare EUSDR. The Danube needed a special strategy that is comparable to the one developed for the Baltic Sea region. It was needed to have a targeted policy for the Danube that meets its ecological, transport and socio-economic needs.
THE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE LEVELS OF THE EUSDR:
- the national coordinators;
- the presidency;
- the ‘Trio presidency’ (consisting of the incumbent, past and future presidencies);
- the priority area coordinators;
- the steering groups and their working groups.
FOUR MAIN PILLARS OF THE STRATEGY:
- Connecting the region with focusing on improve inland navigation along the Danube and promote culture and tourism.
- Protecting the environment seeks to restore and maintain water quality, among other issues.
- Building prosperity aims mainly to develop the knowledge society.
- focuses on improving decision-making capacity and structures in the public and private sector.
These main pillars contain 11 priority areas: