On 17th December 2013 the EU Cohesion policy package 2014-2020 was finally adopted following two years of negotiation between the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Thus six new EU regulations came into live, defining the conditions for investing EUR 325,15 billion to support a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. Among these was Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 relating to the European Regional Development Fund and the European Territorial Cooperation Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013. These are the regulations setting the rules for the three new programmes succeeding South East Europe programme in the next seven years: ADRION, Balkan-Mediterranean, and Danube.
The Danube Transnational Programme (2014-2020) is built around four thematic priority axes:
1. Innovative and socially responsible Danube region:
1.1 Improve framework conditions for innovation;
1.2 Increase competences for business and social innovation;
2. Environment and culture responsible Danube region:
2.1 Strengthen transnational water management and flood risk prevention;
2.2 Foster sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage and resources;
2.3 Foster the restoration and management of ecological corridors;
2.4 Improve preparedness for environmental risk management;
3. Better connected and energy responsible Danube region:
3.1 Support environmentally-friendly and safe transport systems and balanced accessibility of urban and rural areas;
3.2 Improve energy security and energy efficiency;
4. Well-governed Danube region:
4.1 Improve institutional capacities to tackle major societal challenges;
4.2 Support to the governance and implementation of the EUSDR.
The programme will invest EUR 202,3 million from the ERDF and EUR 19,8 million from IPA II for transnational projects in the Danube basin territory. Eligible partners will, therefore, come from 9 EU countries - Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany (only Baden-Württemberg and Bayern), Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia; and 5 non-EU countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, part of Ukraine.
The first call for proposals will be implemented in two steps. The timeline of the first step is 23 September 2015 till 3 November 2015. Details about the call will be announced at the programme kick-off event on 23 (entire day) and 24 (half day) September 2015 in Budapest.
For latest updates please follow the social media accounts of the programme:
Guidance on the eligible transnational activities and expected outputs can be found in the final text of the cooperation programme as endorsed by the EC can be downloaded here.
The programme was formally endorsed by the European Commission on 20 August 2015.
- Scoping report for the programme evaluation assessment in accordance with Article 5(4) of the SEA Directive;
- Danube programme presentation at the SEE Annual event 2014;- SEE newsletter dedicated to new funding period.
The preparation of the programme documents is in the hands of the Programming Committee (PC), which comprises representatives of each partner country. The PC engages in dialogue with relevant stakeholders like the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), national level instituions, etc. PC members subcontracted the drafting of the operational programme and the ex-ante & environmental assessment to external experts. Nevertheless, they will be the one approving the final version of the documents before submission to the European Commission. More on the work of the Danube PC can be found here.
Applicants can now contact the team of the Joint Secretariat for the Danube Programme, whose contact details you can find here.
A strategy to boost the development of the Danube Region was proposed by the European Commission on 8 December 2010 (Commission Communication - EU Strategy for the Danube Region). Member States endorsed the EU Strategy for the Danube Region at the General Affairs Council on 13 April 2011 (Council Conclusions).
Although the geographical coverage of the Danube Transnational Programme matches the one of the EUSDR, these are two different instruments. The programme will certainly support cooperation projects in line with the strategy's action plan; however, this shall not be considered the main funding source for the strategy implementation. The programme does, nevertheless, envisage support for the strategy governance.
More information about the EUSDR:
- EUSDR Official website: www.danube-region.eu