Romania will take over the presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region on 1 November 2018 for a period of one year, Doru Dorobantu, advisor with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), told a Monday's conference on this topic."We are in a special situation this year and the next one, as Romania will also take over the EU presidency as of 1 January 2019, so that the mandates will overlap and will be a high priority," Dorobantu said.
According to him, Romania aims to promote four priority themes and directions for action during the mandate: improving connectivity and mobility in the Danube region by promoting transport, tourism, digitization and people-to-people contacts; reinvigorating the European Strategy for the Danube Region by creating synergies between all the actors involved and the European Commission, making operational the Secretariat of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSRD).
Another direction is the development of experience exchanges on the priority areas of the macrostrategy, such as the transnational development of clusters through the exchange of good practices among the entities participating in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.
"The major objective for Romania is the relaunch of the strategy, which requires both a political and a technical approach. It is necessary to use all the mechanisms and levers that our country has, including through the fact that we will hold the EU presidency. Thus, we stand all chances to achieve this important objective. We want to increase the visibility of EUSRD by supporting local and national projects," the MAE representative said.
He pointed out that this strategy represents a community mechanism for the cooperation of the Danube states, structured on four pillars: the interconnection of the Danube region, the protection of the Danube, the prosperity and the consolidation of the region.
Each of these pillars is segmented on priority areas. There are 11 priority areas, each of which is coordinated by two states. Romania coordinates three priority areas.
The Romanian Government approved at the meeting on 20 September 2018 the concept of the Romanian Presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region and the timetable of the meetings and thematic events proposed by our country during the term, according to a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry.
The process of preparing the concept and calendar of the events concerning the Romanian Presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region was managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the minister-delegate for European Affairs, as the national coordination structure and entailed a wide consultation exercise of all relevant actors (governmental institutions involved in the management of priority areas, representatives of the local public administration and of the academic and associative environment).