EU Strategy for the Danube Region Endorsed

13 April 2011: The ministers of the 27 EU Member States have endorsed the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, which was proposed by the European Commission in December 2010. Preparations for implementation of the Strategy are already underway.

The Strategy concerns mainly 14 countries of which six are non-EU countries (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova). Organizations representing civil society and private companies are also involved in implementation. Around 200 priority actions are expected to contribute to developing the area's economic potential and improving environmental conditions in the region, such as tackling flooding, transport and energy links, environmental protection and security.

The Strategy is based on a “macro-regional” approach and focuses on four main pillars: "connecting the Danube Region" including removal of shipwrecks and other debris from the river bed, and the 4Biomass project to boost renewable energies; "protecting the environment in the Danube Region" by restoring water quality, managing environmental risks and preserving biodiversity through wetland restoration and implementation of a network of protected areas; "building prosperity in the Danube Region;" and "strengthening the Danube Region" by developing institutional capacity and improving cooperation, including developing common guidelines for spatial planning. The European Commission is expected to monitor implementation of the Strategy and publish a first report at the end of 2012. [EU Press Release]