A declaration signed by the Foreign Ministers of the riparian countries acknowledges the contribution of Danube Strategy to the development of Danubian regions.
Danube Strategy must be included in the operational programs to provide financing resources from the European funds , said the Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlatean, last night, as he closed works of the two-day EU Danube Strategy Forum.
Head of Romanian diplomacy also presented, on Monday, the Joint Declaration of the Foreign Ministers from the Danube riparian countries, MAE informs in a press release quoted by Agerpres. Titus Corlatean presided the meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries participating in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, an event organized on the sidelines of EUSDR Forum, held on Monday and Tuesday in Bucharest.
The declaration mainly acknowledges the contribution of Danube Strategy to the development of Danubian regions and communities both within the Union itself, and in the vicinity of its borders, the coordination of national development priorities and promotion of joint projects with macro-regional impact, strengthening of dialogue to align the funding sources from the future multiannual financial framework 2014-2020, the involvement of ministers of foreign affairs and of the national coordinators in the strengthening of the national governance levels of the Strategy, as well as support for the integration of non-member Danubian States via the cross-border cooperation programs and the Union’s assistance instruments at its external borders. “The Foreign Ministries should coordinate at the political level and use the best tools at the national level to ensure a good governance of the Danube region through the active involvement of the EU non-member states and to capitalize on regional cooperation”, said the Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean.
The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, stressed the important role of the Foreign Ministers in setting the strategic guidelines, also highlighting the need for the strategy to continue to deliver concrete results for the benefit of citizens, to develop solutions to address the common challenges in the Danube region.
Ciolos: Danube Strategy needs investment prioritization
The Danube Strategy needs resources, but also the prioritization of common investments, Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, stated yesterday on the final day of the Danube Annual Forum at the Palace of Parliament. “I assure you that you will have the European Commission’s support in implementing the Strategy. The problem is not access to financing, it’s the prioritization of common investments as part of the existing financial framework, but also of the 2014-2020 outlook. The Danube Strategy needs resources. During this period the Council and Parliament are discussing the financial framework for 2014-2020. In parallel, the European Commission is working with the member states in order to implement the future projects and investments. The 14 riparian states can solve problems that concern coherence, the transportation network, energy problems,” Ciolos stated.
EIB loans worth EUR 8 bln disbursed in 2012 for Danube Region projects
The European Investment Bank (EIB) disbursed last year EUR 8 bln in loans for the development of Danube Region projects and a similar amount is earmarked for this year, EIB Vice-President Mihai Tanasescu told the 2nd Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. “We want to promote small-scale projects with SMEs, for them to use the money locally. Not in the last place, a major goal is the protection of the environment. We try to develop environmental protection in the coming years. Also in 2012 the European Investment Bank has granted more than EUR 8 billion to this area and a similar level of lending is earmarked for this year”, said Tanasescu.
The EIB official also mentioned that amid the constraints that are manifest in Europe, the EIB has enhanced its lending activity by over EUR 60 billion for the next four years.
Ponta: I want pragmatic projects
Romania will always be an actor involved and interested in developing the Danube Strategy, Premier Victor Ponta stated in the speech he gave at the opening of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region Forum. “The Romanian government is absolutely determined to collaborate with all the other governments that are participating in this strategy. In fact, two weeks from now we will have a joint meeting with the Bulgarian government and one of the main topics will be precisely our cooperation in what concerns the Danube Strategy, similarly with all the other governments and I believe it’s a common interest we are increasingly achieving. (…) I badly want concrete results, pragmatic projects, bridges that would link the countries through which the Danube flows, projects through which we would really implement the transportation and economic development opportunities, a strategy through which, if you want, one of the Danube’s riches, namely the Danube Delta, will truly be visited and used as one of Europe’s treasures,” the Romanian Premier pointed out.