Covering a fifth of the EU (100 million inhabitants), the Danube Region is a key to the well-being of the EU as a whole. Many of the region’s challenges know no borders: flooding, transport and energy links, environmental protection and security, education policy and labour market issues all require a united approach.
The strategy concerns mainly 14 countries, eight of which are Member States (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania) and six of which are non-EU countries (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova). Organizations representing civil society as well as private companies are also involved in the implementation of initiatives and projects and the achievement of precise targets.
The strategy is based on a new working method that takes a “macro-regional” approach, following in the footsteps of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The novelty of the method is the way it brings countries together to cooperate on setting goals, aligning funding and working together to achieve joint objectives, with the Commission playing a leading role in co-ordination.