The 8th Annual Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region took place on the 27 and 28th of June in Bucharest, Romania. The event was organized in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (SUERD) and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the European Commission and the Transnational Danube Program. The forum represented a very important event for the SUERD presidency, promoting connectivity, mobility and competitiveness by stimulating the development of business, transport, digitization and tourism support structures.
The Forum was attended by approximately 800 people, including senior European officials, dignitaries from the countries of SUERD and representatives of the European institutions, national coordinators and SUERD priority areas, central public authorities with responsibilities in implementing the objectives of the SUERD Priority Areas, Inter-ministerial work SUERD and Consultative Council, representatives of local public authorities, academics and business, civil society, as well as representatives of Parliament and Presidential Administration.
The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP - Romania), together with Bulgaria, coordinates the Priority Area 3 of SUERD ("Culture, tourism and direct contacts between people") and is a contact point for Romania for Priority Area 10 ("Development of institutional capacity and cooperation"), coordinated by Austria and Slovenia.
Thus, MDRAP contributes to the implementation of SUERD through the Regional Operational Program 2014-2020 (ROP) and supports investments in the 12 Romanian counties along the Danube in areas like increasing the energy efficiency of residential and public buildings; urban mobility; road infrastructure of county roads; urban revitalization, preservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage; and infrastructure for tourism development; regeneration of small and medium-sized towns.
To this end, up to now, 8 calls for projects devoted to SUERD (with a total allocation of approximately € 438 million) have been launched, 201 projects (worth around € 721 million requested) have been submitted and 33 contracts have been signed (in the requested amount of about 194 million euro). At the same time, the Danube Transnational Program is one of the main instruments that financially supports both the objectives of the strategy and its governance, financing the work of the Priority Area Coordinators and the Secretariat. With the same coverage as the Strategy, all projects funded by this program, both ordinary and seed money facility, are relevant to SUERD.