European Strategy for the Danube Region
ORAL QUESTION WITH DEBATE O-0150/09
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Brian Simpson, János Áder, Hannes Swoboda, Eva Lichtenberger, Michael Cramer, Saïd El Khadraoui, Mathieu Grosch, Iuliu Winkler, Victor Boştinaru, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Ivailo Kalfin, Norica Nicolai, Dirk Sterckx, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Michael Theurer, Ismail Ertug, Inés Ayala Sender, Jiří Havel, Edit Herczog, Stanimir Ilchev, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Jelko Kacin, Evgeni Kirilov, Ádám Kósa, Ioan Enciu, Eduard Kukan, Gesine Meissner, Alajos Mészáros, Nadezhda Neynsky, Katarína Neveďalová, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Vilja Savisaar, Olga Sehnalová, Catherine Stihler, Peter van Dalen, Louis Grech, Corina Creţu, George Sabin Cutaş, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Tanja Fajon, Kinga Göncz, Antonyia Parvanova, Adina-Ioana Vălean and Rovana Plumb
to the Commission
The Danube links ten European countries, six of them EU Member States, over its course of some 3000 km from the Black Forest (Germany) to the Black Sea. The European Council of 18-19 June 2009 called on the Commission to draw up, by 2011, a European strategy for the Danube region. There is a long history of cooperation in the Danube region: the European Danube Commission, founded on 30 March 1856 and originally based in Galati (Romania), was one of the very first Europe- wide institutions, and is currently based in Budapest (Hungary).
The EU needs to consolidate and integrate the existing cooperation programmes in the region so as to create European strategy for the Danube Region that could follow the model of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
The strategy for the Danube Region, taking advantage of inter-territorial cooperation between countries along the Danube river, should develop a coherent approach and should concentrate on priority areas such as social and economic development, environmental protection (especially protected nature areas, and healthy drinking water), transport (including the connection with the Rhine, through the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal) and sustainable tourism, scientific exchange as well as cultural heritage and linguistic diversity in the Danube basin.
Since the last parliamentary term the EP has supported the creation of the EU Danube strategy: in September 2008, the TRAN Committee sent a delegation to the Danube region in order to promote the potential of this great European river and its surrounding regions. One of the main conclusions of this delegation was the creation of an EP Danube Intergroup.
The Danube Intergroup will work closely with the top-level national representatives for the Danube, with the representatives of the regions and cities along the Danube river, with the European Commission and other European and international institutions, as well as with the coordinators of the priority projects for the Danube basin region.
In view of the importance of a coherent strategy concerning the Danube region, can the Commission provide information on the state of play regarding the elaboration of the EU strategy for the Danube region, its priorities, the principal criteria for selecting projects to be included in the action plan, including defining the territory to be targeted by the EU strategy for the Danube region, together with a timetable for the relevant actions?
Deadline for reply: 14.12.2009