Member States’ ministers for EU affairs adopted the Council’s conclusions about the Danube Region Strategy on 13 April 2011. Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, János Martonyi, who chaired the meeting, said that the first part of the Hungarian EU Presidency’s agenda has been reached and preparations can begin for the specific programs.
The Danube Strategy is primarily an EU policy; however, the eight EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria), Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) are also accompanied by six non-EU Member States in it (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Moldova and Ukraine).
The Hungarian Presidency seeks to involve third countries appropriately. For this reason, the conclusions acknowledge the inclusion and participation of third countries is crucial, if the strategy’s desired objectives are to be achieved.
Member States have clearly expressed that they attach great importance to macro-regional cooperation in the future. The conclusions invite “Member States in cooperation with the Commission, to continue to work on possible future macro-regional strategies.”The Commission will have to summarize the gained experiences, and based on them, fine-tune the plans of macro-regional strategies until June 2013.
The action plan drafted by the European Commission last December contains over 100 possible projects. According to the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, the task in the upcoming period will be to select the first projects to be implemented from among these. “The first tangible and spectacular results are expected for next year”, the he added.
In order to support implementation as quickly as possible, the Hungarian Presidency organises a coordinator’s meeting, with the participation of the national contact persons and the coordinators of priority areas of the Danube Strategy on 8-10 May in Gödöllõ, east of Budapest. (source: eu2011.hu)
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