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Bringing the EU Strategy for the Danube Region to life

Starting: 24 Apr Ending

0 days left (ends 30 Jun)

Go to discussion, participate and give your opinion

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Dear participant of the discussion on the EUSDR,

we thank you very much for your willingness to take part. Your contributions will help us to make better recommendations on how the EU Strategy for the Danube Region can be better brought to life.

Below you can find a series of statements which came out of focus groups (moderator-led discussions) with representatives from all the countries of the Danube Region. We would like to ask you to vote on the statements by clicking on the respective icons on the right of the statements. We would be especially happy if you could also comment on the statements or make further suggestion. Besides you, we invited a series of other experts. We hope that from your comments and those from the other participants a lively discussion will arise.

The statements below refer mainly to the catching-up countries of the Danube Region which are basically the non-German speaking countries. Thus, if you encounter terms like “the countries” or “the eastern countries” then this refers to the non-German speaking area of the Danube Region.

The statements are summarised in five broad sections. The first relates to the problems with project identification and implementation. In the second criteria for projects are mentioned and the third covers comments on the EUSDR in general. Then we also have extracted thematic fields and concrete projects from the focus group (Section 4 and 5).

You will note that the statements are not necessarily consistent. This is intended in order to present the different views for the specific topic.

More information about the project can be found here. The final report is available here

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LEVEL OF AGREEMENT

    • 80%
    • (3688 votes positives)
    • 20%
    • (949 negatives votes)
  • 4637 votes in total
  • Most voted: 20
  • Most commented: 20
  • Most controversials: 20
  • Already decided: 0
  • In voting: 0
  • Supported: 59
  • My contributions: 0

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Privacy: Public

CONTRIBUTORS (87)

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P17

  • There is no social acceptance of business failure.
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P18

  • The behaviour of people is opportunistic, not strategic. This means: When they set up a business they are eager to benefit from financing opportunities without having a business plan or the will to pursue a business opportunity. Money is seen as a goal in itself but not as a means to develop a business.
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P19

  • Risk-aversion is very widespread in the population. This is an obstacle to entrepreneurship. Another consequence is that people prefer working for the government and not in the business world.
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P20

  • There is a lack of initiative on the part of individuals.
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P21

  • Firms lack a long-term orientation because there are too many incentives in the system of rules and regulations for short-term gains. This hinders the pursuit of long-term projects. A sign of the short-term orientation of the firms is that they invest little in R&D.
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P22

  • All big companies in the countries that are part of the global value chain are foreign owned. The place of the domestic companies is defined only in relation to these big foreign owned companies.
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P23

  • The involvement of the local firms in the production processes of the eastern countries of the Danube Region is also too low. Western investors do not find enough reliable local suppliers. There is still a too strong focus on the part of policy makers on FDIs of big companies and on large companies in general and a comparatively weak focus on SMEs.
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P24

  • Local businesses suffer from a lack of reputation. They also face severe obstacles to build up their reputation because often foreign owned companies, which already had time to establish a reputation (e.g., Siemens), get the projects. This problem holds for all sectors of the economy, not only for manufacturing.
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P25

  • Initiatives or support for SMEs and start-ups in the individual countries only target the local market, instead of having a more global scope.
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P26

  • SMEs are very small (mostly micro-entreprises). This makes it difficult for them to participate in international trade and in innovation processes.
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P27

  • Sound craft producers are missing in the eastern part of the Danube Region.
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P28

  • FDIs are increasingly knowledge-intensive. However, they encapsulate themselves so that the knowledge and technology transfer to the local economy is limited if existent at all.
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P29

  • What is missing in the countries are local companies which are leaders in their field and which can stand at the centre of innovation systems. A reason for this is that SMEs are not very technology and knowledge intensive.
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P30

  • Companies in the eastern countries do not know how to apply for EU funds. In addition, they are unable to cope with the administration which comes along with writing a proposal in order to get EU funding.
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P31

  • There is a mismatch of demand and supply of high-skilled labour, especially in technical fields. (Supply of high skilled labour force is limited, especially engineers and technicians are missing.) This leads to that especially the highly educated leave the countries or work in jobs that do not correspond to their qualification.
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P32

  • There is a dramatic brain drain from the countries. Additionally, especially the Balkan countries are not attractive for people to move there. The main reason why people leave their country is the high degree of corruption in the whole society.
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P33

  • Eastern countries of the Danube Region market themselves poorly. The image of the countries in the western part of the Danube Region/the EU does not correspond to the actual business conditions. These are often better than perceived in the western part of the EU.
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P34

  • There is a growing critical attitude related to foreign capital, big business and especially banks in the countries. In earlier years there existed a high level of optimism regarding East-West economic relations. Now scepticism prevails which makes projects with partners from the East and West of the Danube Region difficult.
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2 Criteria for projects

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