Energy security, transportation development, clean connectivity and financing opportunities come under the spotlight at this year's edition of the Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), taking place on 18-19 October in Budapest.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the JRC, and Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional policy, are attending the event, which was opened by Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary.
Commissioner Navracsics said ahead of the event: "The concerns of people in the Danube region range from air quality to traffic congestion - and from energy security to water quality. The work of the Commission's Joint Research Centre - such as a new dashboard offering better access to data - enables authorities across the region to respond to their citizens' concerns more effectively."
Vladimir Šucha, JRC Director-General, moderated a workshop on clean connectivity. The panellists presented the perspectives and potential of clean transportation within the Danube Region, focusing on the possibility of shifting the transport sector towards environmentally friendly fuels. They emphasised improvements in air quality that could come as a result of switching to these alternatives. Mr Šucha highlighted how behavioural insights can be relevant to transport policy and should be taken into account when designing and comparing future policy initiatives.
Towards comparable and harmonised data
Data are crucial for macro-regional strategies: as a means to support policy-making, as a shared asset to support economic growth and as a means of understanding the culture of a region's citizens. Data are needed to understand the status of the region at different stages of the policy cycle and to ensure that investments are targeted effectively. JRC experts will present the JRC-developed Danube Reference Data Service Infrastructure, which enables better access to comparable and harmonised geospacial data for territorial policy assessment.
They will also present the latest addition to the Commission's Knowledge Centre for Territorial Policies, the Territorial Dashboard. This tool visualises data for all EU regions – on the economy, education, employment, health, energy or transport – in a user-friendly way. This will help regional authorities of the Danube region to target investments where they are most needed and where they can have the greatest impact.
The Danube Strategy is one of four macro-regional strategies. It was launched in April 2011, gathering 9 EU countries (Austria, Croatia, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria) and 5 non-EU countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine).
The JRC has been involved in the EUSDR from the beginning. In collaboration with regional science academies and the Danube Rectors' Conference, experts have developed proposals for thematic clusters, to provide policy makers in the Danube Region with scientific support to tackle the interlinked priorities of the EUSDR. In 2013 four flagship thematic clusters were launched: the Danube Water, Land and Soil, Air and Bio-energy nexuses, complemented by three horizontal activities: the Danube Reference Data and Service Infrastructure, Smart Specialisation in the Danube Region and the Danube Innovation Partnership. The projects resulted in numerous publications, databases and tools, supporting everyday work of administrations in the Danube Region. Those products are now enriching the Commission's Knowledge Centre on Territorial Policies.
- Publication date
- 18 October 2017