As of 1 November 2018, Romania takes over the Presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) for a one-year period, a position in which it will propose the allocation of additional financial resources for the development of the region’s potential that this region has.
Minister-delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu recently stated in an interview to AGERPRES that this presidency “represents an extremely important element for our country, because we will basically be able to give a new direction to this strategy.”
“Actually, our main objective during this presidency is to revive this strategy by promoting a series of ideas, extremely precise projects (…) it is the second time Romania is holding the presidency of this strategy and when we ran last year we set out to take advantage of the opportunity provided by our presidency of the Council of the EU so as to also bring the EU Strategy for the Danube Region to the forefront of the European agenda. Practically, starting from this new statute that Romania will have, our country intends, first of all, to talk very much about connectivity. I am referring here that we talk about the potential this region has and the way we can improve connectivity in the Danube region. Using the Danube as a navigable means but also using the existing potential in the region in terms of attracting additional European financial resources,” Negrescu stated.
In the Romanian official’s view, our country is the only one that has allocated from the structural funds resources dedicated to the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region.
The European Union Strategy for the Danube Region is the second macro-regional strategy of the European Union (of the four existing strategies), taking over the cooperation model developed under the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea (adopted in 2009), with adaptation to the specificity of the Danube region. The EUSDR is a political initiative of Romania and Austria, promoted by a joint letter at the prime minister level (June 2008) and addressed to the President of the European Commission. Based on this and following the consultation with the 14 member states, the European Commission presented on 8 December 2010 the Commission Communication – the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region and the Action Plan, and on 13 April 2011 the document was adopted by the Council of the European Union.
Launched in April 2011, the Strategy brings together nine member states of the EU (Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria) and five countries outside the EU (Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine).