Procedure : 2011/2532(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0131/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

OJ 14/02/2011 - 93

Votes :

PV 17/02/2011 - 6.5

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0129/2011

further to Questions for Oral Answer B7‑0011/2011 and B7‑0013/2011

pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region

Lambert van Nistelrooij, Tamás Deutsch, Jan Olbrycht, Marian-Jean Marinescu, András Gyürk, Andrey Kovatchev, László Tőkés, Kinga Gál, Béla Glattfelder, Iosif Matula, Alajos Mészáros, Csaba Sógor, Petru Constantin Luhan, Edit Bauer, Lívia Járóka, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, László Surján, József Szájer, Iuliu Winkler, Elisabeth Jeggle, György Schöpflin, Csaba Őry, Sabine Verheyen, Manfred Weber, Joachim Zeller, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Anna Záborská on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 192 and Article 265(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the oral question on a European Strategy for the Danube Region (O 0150/2009 – B7-0240/2009),

–   having regard the European Parliament Resolution of 21st January 2010 on a European Strategy for the Danube region (P7-TA (2010)0008),

–   having regard to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region,

–   having regard to the European Council of 18 and 19 June 2009, which called on the Commission to draw up, by 2010, a European Strategy for the Danube Region,

–   having regard to its resolution of 24 March 2009 on the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion and the state of the debate on the future reform of Cohesion policy,

–   having regard to the Committee of the Regions opinion of October 2009 on 'An EU strategy for the Danube area',

–   having regard to the Council work programme for the next 18 months drawn up by the Spanish, Belgian and Hungarian presidencies,

–   having regard to the European Commission Communication on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and its Action Plan, adopted on the 8th of December 2010,

–   having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Treaty of Lisbon acknowledges territorial cohesion as an objective of the European Union (Article 3 TEU),

B.  whereas macro-regional strategies are aimed at making better use of existing resources to tackle issues of territorial development and identify joint responses to common challenges,

C. whereas the Baltic Sea Strategy already provides a model for coordinating EU policies and funding in geopolitical territorial units – macro-regions – defined on the basis of specific criteria,

D. whereas the Danube region, comprising 14 European countries and 115 million people both within and outside the EU – Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Moldova and Ukraine – is an area where enhanced synergies between various EU policies – cohesion, transport, economic, energy, environment, enlargement and neighbourhood policies – can be developed,

E.  whereas the EU Strategy for the Danube Region should therefore combine economic, environmental, social and cultural elements,

F.  whereas the Danube is considered to provide a means of extending the European Union,

G. whereas the Danube region constitutes an interconnected macro-region with heterogeneous economic capacities,

H. whereas the economic development of the Danube region will significantly increase the economic wealth of this macro-region and stimulate employment,

I.   whereas the June 2009 European Council requested the Commission to draw up an EU Strategy for the Danube Region by the end of 2010,

1.  Considers that the enlargement of the European Union as well as major trans-national challenges such as the economic crisis, environmental threats, sustainable transport, energy connectivity, resource sustainability, the ecological use of water resources, show that the interdependence of individual states is on the rise, sectoral thinking is no longer appropriate and in this context the establishment of macro-regions opens up new, more efficient perspectives for cooperation by taking a coordinated approach to sustainable development on a broader regional territorial level and setting out a more efficient use of the Danube Region's immense potential for development;

2.  Stresses therefore that this strategy should be set within the cohesion policy objective of territorial cooperation (Objective 3), and be based on an integrated, cross-domain and territorial approach, aiming at better coordinating policies between the various levels of governance on a given territory, with a focus on relevant issues;

3.  Underlines that its conformity with EU 2020 objectives ensures that the Strategy is in line with European development trends and the EU's commitment to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and will help raise prosperity, security and peace by providing new, additional advantages in political, economic and cultural areas;

4.  Expresses its conviction that the Danube Strategy, if supported by a strong political commitment of the Member States, could represent a significant contribution to the overall success and the efficiency of the European recovery strategy after the recent years of economic and financial crisis, giving a new impetus to sustainable growth at regional, national and European level, not only within the limits of Central and Southern Europe, but also in a much wider geographical context;

5.  Emphasizes that the Danube Strategy, together with the various forms of cross-border cooperation that it implies, could easily become a key factor of economic and environmental development, catalyzing local and regional efforts and development needs, contributing to the creation of strong cross-border interrelations in various types of industrial supply chains, municipal cooperation projects and transnational transport modernization initiatives;

6.  States that the successful implementation of fiscal exit strategies adopted / to be adopted by Member States partly depends on the ability, capacity and preparedness of municipal actors to intervene on the regional labour markets with project initiatives triggering local demand of labour force, creating the basis for smart and environment friendly growth, improving cooperation between border regions of different Member States, and ensuring long-term development of the European water transport network; from this perspective, it is of paramount importance to integrate the Danube Strategy in the frame of a long-term vision of the European environmental and industrial development strategy, and to ensure that it enjoys a strong and determined political support of all Member States;

7.  Takes note of the medium and long-term forecasts which indicate that the Southern regions of Europe – including the Member States located in the south-eastern part of Europe – will be particularly affected by the consequences of climate change; is convinced that the Danube Strategy has an important role to play in these regards, and should be designed with the view and objective to mitigate adverse effects related to climate change in the Danubian regions, taking into account the complex role and nature of the network of rivers (water supply, ecological aspects, transport infrastructure, irrigation and agricultural dimension, protected species and flora, etc.);

8.  Points out that Central Europe is, from an ecological point of view, one of the richest but at the same time one of the most vulnerable areas of Europe, characterised by an ecosystem of high ecological complexity and great value therefore requiring a high level of protection. The European Strategy for the Danube Region aims at creating a liveable, sustainable and at the same time developed, prosperous Danube Region by managing environmental risks such as floods and industrial pollution, preserving the quality and quantity of water reserves under control and ensuring their sustainable use, preserving biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils;

9.  Stresses that smart economic development and investments are very promising areas of economic growth. Green technologies and ecological modernisation, such as improved energy efficiency and better waste management can contribute to the sustainable development of the region and the reduction of the negative environmental impacts of economic activity;

10. Emphasizes that the Danube Region is Europe's gate to the Western Balkans therefore the European Strategy for the Danube Region is not only conducive to the improvement of neighbourhood relations in Central Europe but provides important added value in the EU's Eastern European policy, thus represents an excellent opportunity for the entire Union to fortify its political and economic cooperation with the Balkans, and, as a consequence, to contribute to the expansion and consolidation of the process of European integration in the region;

11. Acknowledges the important role played by the Danube Strategy in the promotion and green economy, green innovation and in a larger sense research and innovation aiming at the emergence of a new, competitive low-carbon economy, and a stronger presence of environmental friendly approaches in the development of cross-border industrial cooperation projects;

12. Underlines that environmentally friendly transport modes as rail or inland waterway transport shall gain priority while planning the transport system of the region, with full respect to all relevant elements of applicable EU acquis;

13. Encourages the enhancement of Danube's cultural environment by promoting cultural dialogue, supporting university exchange programmes and youth projects based on transnational cooperation, fostering sustainable tourism, and protecting the historical and built heritage;

14. Highlights the vital need for cooperation in cultural projects in order to support inter-cultural dialogue and understanding among the countries of the Danube Regions; emphasises in this regard the active involvement of young people via cultural and educational facilities in order to create multinational networks;

15. Encourages the political commitment in order to improve the trust of citizens and stakeholders in political as well as local authorities;

16. Stresses the necessity of a coordinated approach with a view to more efficient use of all available EU funds in the countries of the Danube Region so that the goals of the Strategy can be fulfilled to the best possible extents; underlines as well the necessity of enough flexibility in order to allow the development of Danube Strategy related projects within the existing Operational Programmes;

17. Underlines the importance of providing the necessary technical assistance fro the implementation of the actions and projects carried out in the framework of the EUSDR. Costs of technical assistance shall be better recognised and considered while planning the financial framework for the Strategy. The amount provided for assistance shall be available for partners if it is used for purposes and actions coordinated on macro-regional level;

18. Stresses that non-absorbed financial resources could also be a source of financing for macro-regional projects; these resources should be partially or entirely transferred at the end of the relevant financial perspective;

19. Calls on the Commission to regularly inform and consult the European Parliament on the status of implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region;

20. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Committee of the Regions and the other relevant institutions.

Last updated: 15 February 2011Legal notice