On the 12th of July the Committee on Regional Development held a hearing on the implementation of the four EU macro-regional strategies. The presentation of the Hungarian Presidency discussed the current challenges relating to the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and its future prospects post-2020.
A number of members of the European Parliament and nearly 80 experts took part in a session organized by the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament in Brussels on the 12th of July. The purpose of the hearing was to give the four macro regional strategies (Baltic, Danube, Adriatic and Ionian, Alpine Region) an opportunity to present their views on how to improve the execution of their respective regional strategies in the coming period, to share their experience and input regarding implementation-related difficulties, to identify hitherto unexploited potentials, and to present future trends and strategies in the post-2020 period. On the basis of what had been said during the session, a specialised committee of the European Parliament is to prepare a report including recommendations addressed to the European Commission. As the current holder of the Presidency of the EUSDR, the participation of Hungary was especially important as the European Commission anticipates publishing the first version of the multi-annual financial framework of the EU’s 2020-2027 period in the first quarter of 2018. It goes without saying that budgetary questions are of the utmost importance to such regional strategies; contrary to the EU’s current budget, there should be more emphasis on the role of the macro-regional strategies in the following seven-year financial framework – at least this is what the macro-regional strategies wish to promote.
Accordingly, during the session of the 12th of July, the Hungarian Presidency presented multiple suggestions with a special focus on increasing the project orientation of the strategies, increasing the effectiveness of communication in the area of their achievements, and fostering closer cooperation with non-EU countries involved in the strategies.
Furthermore, the Hungarian Presidency presented a number of successful projects which serve as proof of the successes achieved through cooperation taking place within the framework of the EUSDR. For instance, the scoping and advisory mission connected to the salt mine of Solotvyno. The concentrated saline solution that has been leaking into the Tisza River for the past decade from the unused salt mine poses a significant danger to the biosphere of the River. Although decades have passed since the mine was last in use, since then the inhabitants of Solotvyno, a village lying on the Romanian-Ukrainian border, have witnessed an ecological, economic and social disaster. Thanks to the interlinkages within the EUSDR, Hungary, in cooperation with the European Commission, helped to organise the largest scoping mission in the history of the EU. As a result of these efforts, an international project to avoid environmental disaster is currently under negotiation.
The Hungarian Presidency also stressed the need for closer cooperation between the four macro-regional strategies. Discussions about professional experiences could be valuable not just on the operational level, but they could also help maximize the enforcement capacities that the strategies have. In recognition of these merits, at the closing plenary session of the Annual Forum, the Presidencies of strategies are going to discuss possibilities of cooperation in the post-2020 period. The Annual Forum is to be held between the 18th and 19th of October 2017, in Budapest.
|Registration||1 Aug – 21 Sep|
|Event||18 Oct – 19 Oct|
|Language||English, during the Plenary Sessions simultaneous translation into Hungarian is provided|
|Venue||Budapest Congress Centre|
|Republic of Macedonia||3|