Tag Archives: Regional cooperation

Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective

Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective

The Commission reiterates the commitment of the European Union to the Western Balkans. It points the way forward to bring them closer to the EU and gives priority to support for strengthening the rule of law, good governance, judicial and administrative reform, and the development of civil society.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 5 March 2008 – Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective [COM(2008) 127 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission reiterates the commitment of the European Union (EU) to the Western Balkans. It points the way forward to bring them closer to the EU and to make their European perspective more visible and concrete by proposing new initiatives.

Moving closer towards the EU and enhancing regional cooperation have priority. In this respect, moving closer to the EU is based on observance of the Copenhagen criteria and the stabilisation and association process (SAP), including regional cooperation, good neighbourly relations and full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), achieving the priorities set out in the partnerships, and concluding and implementing stabilisation and association agreements (SAAs). Croatia, with which EU membership negotiations have started, sends a positive signal to the other countries of the region.

Each country has achieved progress, although at different rates. Regional cooperation is the responsibility of the countries of the region within the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), which succeeds the Stability Pact. Nevertheless, a certain number of challenges remain, such as good neighbourly relations, reforms (in particular, constitutional, institutional, judicial and police reforms), combating organised crime and corruption, minority rights, refugee return, infrastructure and the environment.

Each Member State decides on its relations with Kosovo following the latter’s declaration of independence in February 2008. The EU will support its development through an international civilian mission headed by an EU Special Representative, an ESDP (EULEX Kosovo) rule of law mission and support for economic and political development.

Promoting people-to-people contacts refers to both the populations of the region and their reconciliation and familiarising people with the EU by encouraging better knowledge of it. Cooperation between the countries of the region and the EU is intensifying in many areas (science, research, culture, education, youth and media) and is strengthened by the possibility for the countries to participate in certain Community programmes and agencies. In addition, an increasing number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships are allocated to students of the region. Cross-border cooperation also receives support, in particular under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).

Furthermore, the visa-free regime, which is part of the preparations for EU membership and participation in the Schengen area, aims to facilitate mobility. Together with the readmission agreements, the visa facilitation agreements are the first step towards liberalisation. They will then be supplemented by bilateral dialogues and roadmaps, in accordance with the 2007 enlargement strategy.

The EU supports civil society development and dialogue to strengthen its role and enable it to participate to the full in the reform process. A new financing facility under the IPA aims specifically to support local initiatives and to consolidate the role of civil society, programmes bringing its actors into contact, and the partnerships and networks for the transfer of knowledge and experience. The Commission will also initiate dialogue with the various churches and religious groups.

Good governance is a key aspect of bringing the countries of the Western Balkans closer to the EU. Making progress in the area of justice, freedom and security is of crucial importance and in particular concerns: the fight against organised crime, corruption and terrorism; judicial and police reform; border management; regional and cross-border cooperation (Frontex); action in the field of asylum, immigration and visa policies; and cooperation with Europol and the Regional Centre for Combating Transborder Crime (SECI).

In this context, strengthening administrative capacity and developing human resources will benefit from the establishment of a Regional School of Public Administration as a basis for networks and cooperation with similar schools in the EU. Twinning and TAIEX and SIGMA programmes also offer a means of familiarising the administrations with the European law and standards in a large number of areas.

The framework for parliamentary cooperation between the European Parliament and the Parliaments of the region consists of the Joint Parliamentary Committees, meetings and the organisation of seminars and colloquia. The European Parliament is also considering supporting the RCC to strengthen cooperation.

As regards trade integration, the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which has been in force since November 2007, aims to attract investment, foster intra-regional trade and integrate the region into global trading. In this way it supplements the trade integration initiated by the SAAs and the autonomous trade measures. Membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will support this process by forming a basis for fostering economic and trade reforms.

Furthermore, the introduction of the rule of diagonal cumulation of rules of origin in the region, including the extension of the Pan-Euro-Med diagonal cumulation scheme to the region, is also intended to boost trade and investment. The Commission is exploring ways to ensure a more rapid application of diagonal cumulation between the Western Balkans, Turkey, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EU.

The region has to face various challenges with regard to economic and social development. These challenges concern competitiveness, the reduction of unemployment, labour market participation, infrastructure and the development of human and social cohesion, with due regard for sustainable development and continuing the achievement of the objectives of the Lisbon strategy. The cooperation will focus on three areas: micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), infrastructure and energy efficiency.

Financial support has been based since 2007 on the IPA. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will also increase its lending in various areas (transport, energy, SMEs, environment, municipal infrastructure, education and health). Coordination between the EU and the other donors is essential for ensuring the complementarity, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of assistance. It is based in particular on a Memorandum of Understanding with the international financial institutions (IFIs) and a consultation mechanism on IPA programming. A donors’ conference for Kosovo is also planned to rationalise the assistance with a view to the socio-economic development of its communities.


This Communication contributed to the ministerial meeting with the Western Balkan countries organised by the Presidency on 28 March in Brdo, Slovenia. The Commission invites the Council and Parliament to take its conclusions, which carry on from the Thessaloniki agenda and the Salzburg communication, in accordance with the 2007 enlargement strategy, into consideration.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Regions for economic change

Regions for economic change

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regions for economic change


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Review and the future of regional policy

Regions for economic change

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 8 November 2006 – Regions for economic change [COM(2006) 675 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission is responding to the challenge to create growth and more and better jobs through the partnership for growth and jobs. This partnership has been reformed by the Community Lisbon Programme and national reform programmes (NRPs).

The Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013 in the field of cohesion and the guidelines for investments for urban development aim to assist the partnership for growth and jobs by defining areas of intervention where priority should be given in the programmes for cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

The programmes for cohesion policy for 2007-2013 receive 350 billion of Community support and lever a further 150 billion of investment from national public sources. This investment should help make the breakthrough in economic modernisation and increased competitiveness in the context of the partnership for growth and jobs, thus making a connection between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation.

The Regions for Economic Change initiative

From the viewpoint of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and as part of the urban development programme, this Communication sets out the Regions for Economic Change initiative. The aim of the latter is to test out best practices which help strengthen the link between regional economic convergence and economic modernisation.

With a total budget of around 375 million, the initiative allows volunteer networks of Member States, regions and cities to test best practices for economic modernisation and increased competitiveness.

The Commission offers the volunteer networks a number of themes related to economic modernisation and the revised Lisbon strategy. In this way, those networks which so desire have the possibility of working and cooperating more closely with the Commission on these themes.

Networks participating in the initiative select development themes which interest them and pursue them through joint networks co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Thanks to the link between thematic development and the cohesion policy programmes, projects which have been tested are rapidly disseminated in the Member States.

Fast track option

There is a fast track option within the Regions For Economic Change initiative. Volunteer networks are established around the themes (linked to economic modernisation and the renewed Lisbon strategy) selected and animated by the Commission. The fast track option therefore gives the Commission the right of initiative and allows it to play an important role in the rapid dissemination of ideas for testing selected by the networks in ERDF-assisted programmes.


In order to ensure the rapid dissemination of ideas, results and best practice, it is important to introduce effective communication on the Regions For Economic Change initiative. This entails, for example, the organisation of an annual conference on regions for economic change, the launch of a new website and the introduction of annual awards for innovation.

Related Instruments

Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion [Official Journal L 291 of 21.10.2006].

Communication from the Commission of 5 July 2005 – Cohesion Policy in Support of Growth and Jobs – Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-2013 [COM(2005) 299 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Strategy for assistance to Central Asia 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Strategy for assistance to Central Asia 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for assistance to Central Asia 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

Strategy for assistance to Central Asia 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Document or Iniciative

European Community Regional Strategy Paper for Assistance to Central Asia for the period 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010 (pdf ).


The regional strategy paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of cooperation with Central Asia in areas of common interest to the partner countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan).

Despite their common experience, the countries display marked differences in their situation, territorial area, population, level of human development and willingness to cooperate and integrate with the rest of the world. On the other hand, the region shares political, economic, social and environmental challenges, such as:

  • trade and access to world markets, characterised by complex, badly coordinated trade policies, lack of transparency, high transport and transit costs and delays at border crossings for imports and exports;
  • the investment climate, with its continuing fluctuations reinforced by legislative uncertainty;
  • transport, which requires progressive, but effective integration in European and international agreements, the improvement of road and rail safety, maritime and aviation security, inland waterway transport and the introduction of inter-modal concepts;
  • the management of shared natural resources, especially water, but also the questions of climate change, deforestation, natural disasters and renewable energy resources;
  • social development and poverty reduction, as the region is characterised by highly unequal income distribution, high unemployment, low life expectancy and a resurgence of communicable diseases.

EU response strategy

The strategy for assistance and the indicative programme 2007-2010 identify three priority objectives selected by the European Union (EU) for the partnership in the next five years.

The EU’s first objective is to promote regional cooperation with Central Asia and good neighbourly relations. The EU will concentrate mainly on four objectives capable of providing real added value through implementation at regional level, i.e.:

  • support for transport and energy networks and integration with the international market to strengthen links and trade relations;
  • improvement of environmental management, which comprises sustainable management and good governance in the water and forestry sectors, biodiversity conservation and nature protection, especially in relation to climate change;
  • border and migration management, the fight against organised crime, and customs;
  • promotion of educational exchanges and scientific and people-to-people activities with the population of the region.

As far as bilateral assistance is concerned, poverty reduction and improving the standard of living are the top priority. This comes within the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The incidence of poverty is very high in the region and the inequalities in socio-economic development amplify instability, insecurity and extremism in these countries. This objective will focus on the development of the region and local communities, as well as support for rural development and social sector reforms.

The promotion of good governance and economic reforms is the second priority assistance area for this period. The Commission will focus on the promotion of good governance of civil society, the social dialogue and democratic processes, but also on reforms allowing better regulation of markets and trade. Support for political, administrative and judicial reforms ensure the stability of the countries of Central Asia. A specific programme is defined for each country, taking account of the national policies and individual situations.

The EU assistance is based on a series of instruments and measures, such as the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), including the 5 thematic programmes, the Instrument for Democratisation and Human Rights, the Nuclear Safety Instrument, the Stability Instrument and the Humanitarian Instrument.

Terms and conditions

The funding for the geopolitical indicative programme for Central Asia (DCI) for the period 2007-2010 will amount to EUR 314 million, of which EUR 94.2 million will be allocated to the promotion of regional cooperation with Central Asia and EUR 219.8 million to the other two priorities. The European Council will monitor progress made in implementing the strategy in June 2008 and then at least every two years.

The indicative programme 2007-2010 presents the expected results of the Community assistance regarding the various priorities presented above. As far as the regional programmes are concerned, it is a matter of improving energy and infrastructure management; increasing transport movements (number and quality) and harmonising maritime, rail and road transport; raising awareness of environmental issues and cooperation of civil society in this field; improving efficiency and safety at border crossings and harmonising the procedures; and extending and modernising the local and regional infrastructures, as well as improving access to services for the population and bringing laws and practices in line with international standards, including in the field of human rights.

Performance indicators defined at the time of drawing up the programmes will allow their impact to be measured (progress achieved with regard to human rights and in the other above-mentioned areas, relevance of the activities, statistics on the trend in poverty and notably the Millennium Goals, implementation reports, etc.).

Black Sea Synergy

Black Sea Synergy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Black Sea Synergy


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement

Black Sea Synergy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 11 April 2007 – Black Sea Synergy – A new regional cooperation initiative [COM(2007) 160 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].


Black Sea Synergy is a cooperation initiative that proposes a new dynamic for the region, its countries and their citizens. Regional cooperation could provide additional value to initiatives in areas of common interest and serve as a bridge to help strengthen relations with neighbouring countries and regions (Caspian Sea, Central Asia, South-eastern Europe).

In this context, Black Sea Synergy could reinforce the impact of existing cooperation instruments (the pre-accession process in the case of Turkey, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Strategic Partnership with Russia) and regional initiatives (Danube Cooperation Process).

Areas of cooperation

The EU proposes to build on its experience to support initiatives promoting democracy, respect for human rights and good governance through training, exchanges and regional dialogues with civil society.

It will also make use of institutions like the South-east European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) to tackle issues of migration and security. Improving border management and customs cooperation will help prevent irregular migration and fight against organised cross-border crime (trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs,).

The EC advocates a more active role in addressing frozen conflicts (Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh). Cooperation programmes offer a way of tackling issues of governance, security, social cohesion and economic development.

As regards energy, the EU will continue to enhance its relations with energy producers, transit countries and consumers for energy supply security, an area in which the Black Sea region is of strategic importance. The various instruments in place, both specific (Baku Initiative, dialogue on energy security, ENP) and general (bilateral relations, expansion of the Energy Community Treaty, WTO accession), are a means of working towards regulatory harmonisation and providing a clear, transparent and non-discriminatory framework. The EU also supports research into alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and energy saving, as well as the modernisation of infrastructures and the development of a new trans-Caspian trans-Black Sea energy corridor.

The EC should continue to support regional transport cooperation initiatives to improve the efficiency, safety and security of transport operations and improve coordination, notably through the extension of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the TRACECA programme. Other essential objectives include harmonising the regulatory framework through a dialogue on transport, uniform application of instruments and standards, extending the common aviation area and enhancing aviation and maritime safety.

As regards the protection of the environment, Member States will be encouraged to work within the framework of regional seas conventions. The implementation of multilateral agreements and a broader strategic cooperation are also essential, as is regional activity to combat climate change.

The EU’s emerging maritime policy should embrace all the countries in the region, and focus on developing a cross-sectoral maritime cooperation network. As regards fisheries, the management of fisheries resources should be strengthened to promote sustainable and responsible use of stocks.

In the trade sector, the closer economic cooperation needed to encourage trade liberalisation should be based on preferential trade relations, WTO accession, agreements with Russia and Ukraine, and the implementation of ENP action plans to promote harmonisation of laws and regulations.

Cooperation in the context of research and education networks is another aspect of this synergy. It aims at developing on-line services and e-commerce, the interconnection of all countries in the area to the pan-European research backbone GEANT and providing high-speed connectivity. The Tempus programme is another instrument for cooperation in the field of higher education.

In the field of science and technology, the EC intends to promote capacity-building and S&T policy dialogue with the Black Sea countries, through the 7th Research Framework Programme and other relevant instruments.

With regard to employment and social affairs, the EU should support initiatives aimed at strengthening social cohesion and fighting poverty and social exclusion through technical assistance schemes (exchange of information and best practice, awareness-raising, training).

The lessons learned in the implementation of the EU’s regional policy programmes for Bulgaria and Romania could be turned to account for regional development programmes throughout the area.


Instruments like the ENPI, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the regional activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank provide a financing framework.

Cross-border cooperation through the ENPI, the ERDF and the IPA should promote links between and strengthen the role of local actors and civil society.

In addition, the involvement of regional organisations should guarantee an appropriate level of regional cooperation, following the example of the Organisation for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), to which all the countries in the region belong. Civil society organisations, under the aegis of the Black Sea Forum, could also provide a fertile medium for cooperation initiatives.

The strengthening of the European Neighbourhood Policy, including the building of a thematic dimension to the ENP and the gradual development of deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, would enrich Black Sea cooperation. Regional contacts should be facilitated by the removal of obstacles to legitimate travel and the promotion of university exchanges through the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes. The Neighbourhood Investment Facility for countries with ENP Action Plans will help finance infrastructure investments, particularly in the fields of energy, transport and the environment.

Baltic Sea Strategy

Baltic Sea Strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Baltic Sea Strategy


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Water protection and management

Baltic Sea Strategy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 June 2009 concerning the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region [COM(2009) 248 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission has adopted a global strategy to draw benefits from the economic and environmental potential of the Baltic Sea Region and meet the shared challenges facing this region. The strategy aims at improving coordination among the eight Member States bordering the Baltic Sea and other coastal states which are not members of the European Union (EU).

This strategy takes the form of a Communication. Its implementation is based on strengthening cooperation between national and regional governments, enterprises and the rest of civil society. This is a new approach whose application began in the Danube Basin and which could inspire other strategies of the same type in other European regions.

The measures adopted as part of the strategy are grouped into four pillars:

  • to enable a sustainable environment;
  • to develop the region’s prosperity;
  • to increase accessibility and attractiveness;
  • to ensure safety and security in the region.

In order to guarantee a sustainable environment, the eight countries concerned should take measures aimed at:

  • reducing nutrient inputs to the sea to acceptable levels;
  • preserving natural zones and biodiversity including fisheries;
  • reducing the use and impact of hazardous substances;
  • becoming a model region for clean shipping;
  • mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The countries concerned will be supported by the measures and instruments established under the strategy for the marine environment or the Common Fisheries Policy. The strategy for the Baltic Sea will constitute a first step towards the regional implementation of the Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy. The ‘rural development’ strand of the Common Agricultural Policy will also contribute to developing a sustainable environment in the region.

The strategy aims at enhancing the region’s prosperity and attractiveness. The actions implemented should thus contribute to:

  • removing hindrances to the internal market in the Baltic Sea Region;
  • exploiting the full potential of the region in research and innovation;
  • implementing the “Small Business Act”: to promote entrepreneurship, strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and increase the efficient use of human resources;
  • reinforcing sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The Baltic Sea Region is still isolated from the rest of the EU, particularly in the area of transport and energy. The strategy therefore aims at enhancing the region’s accessibility and attractiveness. The actions to be implemented by these countries should:

  • improve the access to, and the efficiency and security of, the energy markets;
  • improve internal and external transport links;
  • maintain and reinforce the attractiveness of the Baltic Sea Region in particular through education, tourism and health.

In terms of safety, the EU aims at limiting the risks of accidental or intentional marine pollution and combating organised crime. The actions to be implemented should contribute to:

  • making the region a model for clean shipping;
  • reinforcing protection from major emergencies at sea and on land;
  • decreasing the volume of, and the harm done by, cross-border crime.

Horizontal actions supplement the actions adopted under the four pillars above. These concern in particular the development of integrated maritime governance structures and maritime and land-based spatial planning. The BONUS-169 project is one example of the type of project which should contribute to the success of the strategy. It is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme and combines an ecosystem approach with an effective science/policy interface.

The actions and projects implemented under the strategy may be supported by Community funding available under European programmes and instruments such as the Seventh Framework Programme, the Life+ programme, the Trans-European Networks for transport and energy, European Structural Funds, etc. Aid earmarked for the Baltic Sea Region under the cohesion policy amounts to more than EUR 50 billion for the period 2007-2013. The Commission plans to work with fund programming authorities in order to facilitate the selection of projects in the light of the objectives of the strategy.

The strategy for the Baltic Sea Region is an internal instrument addressed to the EU and the Member States. However, it involves collaboration with other stakeholders in the region such as Russia, Norway and Belarus. This cooperation with third countries will benefit already existing structures through the Northern Dimension. It will also take place within inter-governmental organisations such as the Helsinki Commission for the Baltic Sea.


This strategy is the result of an online public consultation launched by the Commission in November 2008 and many public debates and working groups which took place in the eight Member States concerned.

Related Acts

Decision No 862/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the participation of the Union in a Joint Baltic Sea Research and Development Programme (BONUS) undertaken by several Member States [Official Journal L 256 of 30.9.2010].

European Union Strategy for Danube Region

European Union Strategy for Danube Region

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Union Strategy for Danube Region


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Water protection and management

European Union Strategy for Danube Region

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 8 December 2010, European Union Strategy for Danube Region [COM(2010) 715 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Danube Region has more than 100 million inhabitants and represents one fifth of European Union (EU) surface. It is therefore a vital region for Europe. The fourteen countries along the Danube, of which eight are EU Member States, are faced with common challenges.

The Danube Strategy is based on experience gained with the Baltic Sea Region and proposes an integrated Action Plan organised around four pillars:

  • connecting the Danube Region;
  • protecting the environment;
  • building prosperity;
  • strengthening the Region.

Connecting the Danube Region

The Strategy aims at improving mobility and multimodality (the use of several means of transport for a single journey) in the Region by developing sustainable inland navigation and road, rail and air infrastructures.

Furthermore, the energy networks have many gaps and deficiencies, due to insufficient capacity, low quality or poor maintenance. The production of more sustainable energy is to be encouraged.

The Danube Region also has a rich cultural heritage. The Commission therefore wishes to encourage the promotion of culture and tourism so as to give the Region a European and global dimension.

Protecting the Environment

Environmental resources are shared across borders and go beyond national interests. This is particularly true of the Danube Region, which includes mountain areas such as the Carpathians, the Balkans and part of the Alps. As a result, the Region has some of the richest flora and fauna in Europe. However, it has not been spared environmental disasters and pollution. Danube States must take joint measures, and in order to do this the Action Plan proposes to restore and maintain the quality of waters, to manage environmental risks, and to preserve biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils.

Building Prosperity

The Region includes some of the most competitive areas in the EU but also the poorest, the most highly skilled and the least educated, and the highest and lowest standards of living. In order to overcome disparities in education and employment, and to promote social inclusion, the Action Plan aims to develop the knowledge society through research, education and information technologies. It also seeks to support the competitiveness of enterprises and to invest in people and skills. Marginalised communities (including Roma, the majority of whom live in the Region) should benefit in particular.

Strengthening the Region

The dramatic changes since 1989 transformed society. Particular attention is needed as the Danube Region includes Member States which have joined at different moments, as well as countries applying for EU membership and other third countries. Most face similar problems, but with different resources available. Thus, in order to improve institutional capacity, cooperation and security, the Action Plan proposes to work together to promote more efficient administration of security matters and to tackle organised and serious crime.

The Region has EUR 100 billion from European funds for 2007-2013 and the strategy seeks to contribute to more effective use of available funds.

The Commission will coordinate areas of action. It will be assisted by a High Level Group composed of representatives of all Member States. In collaboration with the Danube States that are not Members of the EU, the Member States will be responsible for coordinating each priority area. All levels of power (national, regional, municipal and local) are to participate in implementing the actions. The Commission will produce reports in order to monitor development and progress.


The Strategy is the result of a public consultation and debates between stakeholders. It contributes to the Europe 2020 Strategy for sustainable and intelligent growth. The Member States concerned are Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania.