The Task Force of embedding met in Vienna at the premises of the Danube Strategy Secretariat (DSP) and held the first of three planned meetings dedicated to the embedding process, ie. linking the priorities of the Danube Strategy with financial instruments in the future programming period. HR PRES encouraged all participants to strongly and actively support shaping the embedding process for the upcoming months. DSP presented the corner stones of this process: in total, three Task Force Meetings in January, February and April 2020 are planned. The participating countries in the first meeting were Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania.
The main conclusions from the meeting are: DSP will screen the 85 Actions within the (draft) Action Plan together with the Priority Area Coordinators (PACs) to seek links to possible funding sources. The result document is to be discussed during the 2nd Task Force meeting organized in Brussels (20th February 2020). The screening and aligning of actions has the focus on ERDF and interconnection with the five Policy Objectives for EU investments in 2021-2027. The basis for the process has to be the (draft) Action Plan and the 85 actions of all Priorities Areas.
Following EUSDR presidency proposal it is agreed that PACs should propose a maximum of 3 PA priorities out of 85+ priorities that have a common denominator with the highest EUSDR members and are eligible for the ERDF and would be a shortlist to be proposed at the next NC/PAC meeting in April or May. This short list is the basis for embedding in national programs.
There are also actions to be taken at national level (e.g. promotion of EUSDR as a framework, emending at policy level) and additional actions that are to be shared between the countries.