Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission
1. The Commission has created a working definition for mountain regions. It takes into account criteria such as altitude, slope, or contrasts in topography. The details concerning the underlying methodology are described in the Regional Focus 01/2011(1).
2. The Commission promotes close cooperation between the governance bodies of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and the Carpathian Convention to support growth and sustainable development in the Carpathian Region, in particular through the development of cooperation projects. On the initiative of the Commission, a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation was agreed between the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention and the relevant priority areas of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (transport, water, energy). The Commission has also involved the Carpathian Convention in the main communication events of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, such as the Annual Forum held in Bratislava on 3 and 4 November 2016.
3. The Commission supports measures to tackle the specific challenges and needs of the Member States, regions and cities, including island and mountain areas, as part of the multiannual European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programmes investing in the economic, environmental and social development. A specific European Year of Islands and Mountains is not foreseen under the ESIF.