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Bringing the EU Strategy for the Danube Region to life

Starting: 24 Apr Ending

0 days left (ends 30 Jun)

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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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<< Previous paragraphs


  • Topics for EUSDR projects must be relevant for all countries of the Danube Region, not only for the eastern ones.
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  • Projects must be self-supporting, i.e., based on the initiatives and involvement of participants. They must be designed such that the goals of the project are in the interest of agents (companies, individuals) so that agents have incentives to pursue the project and do not take part only in the hope to tap money.
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  • Projects must work without government support. The main funding must come from the members of the project. Government funding is an add-on but should not be the main source of funding.
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  • Projects should not be person-dependent, i.e. the project should go on even if responsible persons leave the project team. The same should hold if some government agency is the initiator of a project.
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  • It is not necessary to have many projects in the Danube Strategy at the beginning. But the projects must be concrete and rather easy to implement. The rationale is that such projects can serve as example showing that something is going on in the Danube Strategy. This can serve as a motivation for further projects and as a means for establishing networks.
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It is not necessary that only large-scale projects are developed. Also small projects can make a difference.

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Examples for sensible small-scale projects are:


  • In order to move up the quality ladder companies could be enabled to go to the Hannover Messe, the world largest industry trade fair, i.e. providing funds for the travel costs to go there.
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  • Development of quality circles.
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  • Development of a culture for organising meetings effectively.
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  • The forces regarding specific topics should be joined in order to get EU funding. If the countries/regions submit a coordinated project the chances are likely to be much higher. This requires that common topics are identified.
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  • A combination of a top-down and a bottom-up approach should be pursued for the implementation of the projects. Because most of the countries are based on top-down systems which result from the communist time, projects can be best implemented from the top. On the other hand, local people also must be involved because if everything comes from the top local people will not take responsibility and projects will not be sustainable.
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  • People who have already performed a successful project and people who have ideas for projects but do not have experience in implementing projects should be brought together.
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  • One way to reduce the risk of corruption during project implementation is that money for projects directly comes from Brussels and is controlled by Brussels or other independent institutions.
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  • Becoming a supplier for the big automotive companies which produce in the eastern countries of the Danube Region is a too difficult task for the local companies because the quality requirements are so incredibly high. Local companies should therefore concentrate on technologies which are not yet sufficiently developed or which are medium- or low-tech. This would help them to develop competencies which could allow them to supply high quality/high-tech products themselves later on.
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  • In order to find a starting point for industry/sector development the existing (production) structures in a region should be identified.
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Central elements for developing the SME sector are:


  • Good public administration/administrative practices
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  • Protection of property rights
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