On October 22, 2020, the 9th Annual Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region was held in a virtual form, jointly organized by the Republic of Croatia, the European Commission and the Danube Transnational Programme, with the support of the Danube Strategy Point.
"In this challenging time, we must work together to find a common response to the situation caused by the pandemic and to protect the environment and ensure economic growth for all countries and their citizens. Croatia remains committed to the sustainable regional development of the European Union, which was an important topic during Croatian Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2020, as well as during Croatian presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region", said Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković.
"Danube Strategy - 10 years later" was the central theme of Croatian Presidency with the aim of evaluating the achievements so far, determining the future direction of the Strategy, as well as determining the role of macro-regional cooperation in relation to the financial period 2021-2027.
The 9th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region was held for the first time as a virtual event due to the health situation caused by COVID-19, which was a real challenge, since Forum brought together around 700 participants from 14 countries participating in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, European Commission, relevant Ministries, educational and scientific research institutions, the private sector and many other participants.
As part of Croatian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, a Ministerial meeting of ministers responsible for the implementation of the EUSDR was held. The participants in the meeting praised the achievements during the one-year Croatian Presidency and expressed their commitment to the continuation of cooperation in the Danube Region. The main priorities in the coming period are balanced and sustainable regional development as a precondition for economic growth and overall social development of the region. During the meeting, the Joint Statement was adopted, confirming the progress in establishing the governance structure and implementation of the Strategy itself.
The future of the macro-regional strategies is a shared responsibility of all its key implementers. It is an opportunity to think about the broader perspective that they can offer for the realization of economic, territorial and social cohesion", said Minister Nataša Tramišak.
A special message in her speech was sent by the Commissioner of the European Commission for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, who said: "Cohesion Policy must be flexible and fast to meet all the challenges, and emphasize the role of the embedding process of the macro-regional strategies with the sources of funding at both national and regional levels ”. embeddinga, tj. povezivanja prioriteta makroregionalnih strategija s izvorima financiranja kako na nacionalnoj tako i na regionalnoj razini“.
At the 9th Annual Forum, three thematic discussions were held on the environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainable regional development.