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Danube Area

Policy framework

a. Transnational cooperation programme

The Danube Transnational programme belongs to the family of the INTERREG V transnational 2014-2020 programmes and forms part of the Cohesion policy of the European Union. The programme acts as a policy driver and pioneer to tackle common challenges and needs in policy fields where transnational cooperation is expected to deliver tangible results. It promotes economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Danube Region through policy integration in fields linked to the priorities of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Also transnational projects funded under this programme are expected to influence national, regional and local policies. It was previously part of the "South East Europe Programme 2007-2013". 

For the period 2014 - 2020 the Danube programme will focus on four priority axes:

  1. Innovative and socially responsible Danube region
  2. Environment and culture responsible Danube region
  3. Better connected and energy responsible Danube region
  4. Well-governed Danube region

During this period, the programme is expected to promote:

  • Research and innovation;
  • Competences for business and social innovation;
  • Sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage and resources;
  • Transnational water management and flood risk prevention, disaster risk management;
  • Environmentally-friendly, safe and balanced transport systems;
  • Energy security and energy efficiency;
  • Intensified cooperation to increase management capacities of Priority Area Coordinators (PAC) to effectively implement the goals, targets and key actions of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

Adaptation is explicitly considered under the priority 2, in the Programme's thematic objectives (TO6), investment priorities (6d), specific objectives (2.1, 2.4) and indicative examples of action. References to adaptation are also made in the description of intervention fields (021, 087). In addition to the thematic orientation, the Danube programme addresses three horizontal thematic aspects highlighted in EU regulations including that of sustainable development. Furthermore, contribution to enhanced awareness of adaptation to climate change and risk prevention is included among the projects' selection criteria.


b. Macro-region strategies

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), adopted by the European Commission in December 2010 and endorsed by the European Council in 2011, is a macro-regional strategy which was jointly developed by the Commission and the Danube Region countries and stakeholders in order to address common challenges together. The strategy seeks to create synergies and coordination between existing policies and initiatives taking place across the Danube Region.

Some parts of the Danube region overlap with other macro-regions that may have relevant information in their strategies. These are the Alpine and the Adriatic-Ionian macro-regions.


c. Carpathian Convention

The Carpathian Convention is a sub-regional treaty to foster the sustainable development and the protection of the Carpathian region. It aims to improve the quality of live, strengthen local economies and communities, and conserve the natural values and cultural heritage of the Carpathian area. It provides a framework for cooperation, a platform for developing joint strategies for sustainable development, and a forum for dialogue between all stakeholders involved.

It was signed in May 2003 by seven Carpathian States (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, and Ukraine). It is the only multi-level governance mechanism covering the whole of the Carpathian area and, besides the Alpine Convention, the second sub-regional treaty-based regime for the protection and sustainable development of a mountain region worldwide.

Detailed information including links to the most relevant documents on adaptation in the Carpathian Mountains is provided by the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention based on submission from the Convention´s Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change



Assessments and projects

a. Projects funded in 2014-2020

The first step of the first call for project proposals of the Danube Transnational Programme was launched on 23rd September 2015 and it lasted until 3rd November 2015. The decisions about the projects selected to submit a full application form in the 2nd step of the call is expected in April 2016. 


b. Projects funded in 2007-2013

The geographic scope of the Danube programme is slightly different to the geographic scope of the previous "South East Europe 2007-2013" programme. However, a number of countries from the Danube region were involved in these projects and the results may be useful. 

The SEERISK project focused on natural hazards and addressed disaster risk assessment and management in the context of climate change.

The OrientGate project aimed to coordinate climate change adaptation efforts. It developed a methodology for assessing risks of climate variability and change, and to harmonise risk assessments and encourage inclusion of climate adaptation knowledge in territorial planning and development.


c. Other policy and assessment initiatives not funded within the Transnational Programmes

The Drought Management Centre for South East Europe (DMCSEE) coordinates development and application of drought risk management tools and policies with the goal of improving preparedness and reducing drought impacts. DMCSEE is co-financed by European Union through South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme and it includes 15 partners from 9 countries.

The Environment and Climate Regional Accession Network (ECRAN) is financed by the EU and managed by the European Commission. It assists the beneficiaries in exchange of information and experience in the fields of environment and climate action related to preparation for accession. There are various Climate Action Working Groups and adaptation is number 4. There are two specific tasks being implemented under this working group: Task 4.1: Best practices on adaptation and regional training on vulnerability assessments and Task 4.2: Support for the identification of adaptation options.



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