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Victor Negrescu – Minister Delegate for European Affairs Photo Source: MAE

Romania to hold the presidency of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region

Romania will be the President of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (SUERD), following the decision of the 14 member-states of SUERD, between 1 November 2018 and 1 November 2019.

“With the support of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, Romania has obtained the support of the other member states for taking over this important mandate for our country, which will coincide with taking over the presidency of the Council of the European Union, materializing one of our priorities in European context,” said Minister Delegate for European Affairs, Victor Negrescu.

Starting 1 January 2018, Romania will already become a member of the SUERD Presidents’ Trio, alongside Bulgaria, which currently holds the Presidency and Hungary, which has exercised this mandate until 1 November 2017. Within the Trio, Romania can contribute to the drafting and preparation of SUERD documents and meetings.

“The European Union Strategy for the Danube Region is a successful initiative of Romania at European level and we want this form of regional collaboration to have a continuous development in the next period. The exercise of the SUERD Presidency presupposes the assumption by the Romanian side of responsibilities, within a process of multi-level involvement and coordination. In particular, it will enable Romania to promote the themes and initiatives of interest to the states in the Danube region at European and regional level as well as chair meetings and gain consensus among the member states,” Victor Negrescu explained.

During the mandate, Romania will organize, in cooperation with the European Commission and the Danube Transnational Program, a meeting of the SUERD Annual Forum with the participation of officials from the Member States and representatives of the Commission, European institutions and civil society. Romania will also host a meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers dedicated to the governance of SUERD, will organize and lead two meetings of the national coordinators from the Member States of the SUERD, the meetings of the Priority Areas coordinators and the Steering Groups, as well as other thematic events with the participation of the coordinators of the eleven priority areas of SUERD and of the Danube Transnational Program Management Authority.

Romania, through its ministries, coordinates three priority areas of SUERD: navigability (together with Austria), tourism and culture (together with Bulgaria) and environmental risks (together with Hungary). Among the main themes that Romania will promote during the SUERD Presidency, are the establishment of the Focal Point for technical assistance/Danube Strategy Point, the creation of synergies between the Danube stakeholders and the European Commission in cluster development and the strengthening of cooperation and interaction between the entities participating in the SUERD and other macro-regional strategies of the European Union.