Governor Proell: “Danube Region assumes essential key position for the whole of Europe“

Informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region in St. Poelten.




On Monday, October 22, in the Lower Austrian Landhaus (Government) Quarter in St. Poelten, the second informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region took place. Governor Dr. Erwin Proell had the pleasure to welcome, amongst others, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Spindelegger, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Dr. Johannes Hahn, as well as the Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean.

"The Danube region assumes an essential key position in the development of the whole of Europe", emphasized Governor Proell. The Danube region, living environment of around 100 m people, "has often been a region of instability and inequality. It is our task to consequently aim at turning this region of instability and inequality into a region of stability and equality", stated Proell. Next year, upon the initiative of the Province of Lower Austria, a harbor conference will take place, where Danube harbors and Black Sea harbours intend to agree on possibilities and necessities of cooperation, informed the Governor.

Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger presented a "first assessment" of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region in the course of a press conference previous to the informal meeting of Foreign Ministers. Thus he reported about 275 projects,
which have been initiated within the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, from a cultural initiative to shipping lanes. In order to integrate the business community more deeply, a "Danube Business Forum" will be launched, stated Spindelegger.

Foreign Minister Spindelegger and a large number of delegates from the Danube region gathered information about project activities on the topic of soil protection and sustainability at the information stand of the SONDAR (Soil Strategy Network in the Danube Region) projects.

Already in the morning, at the 22nd Meeting of Heads of Government of the Working Community of Danube Countries, a large number of participants signed the piece of art painted with soil colours showing the Danube region, prepared by Prof. Irena Racek, at the SONDAR / SOPRO information stand with socially produced soil colours. At this meeting, the work program for next year was presented and resolved.

Click here for downloading the work program of the Sustainability Working Group, managed by the Department of Rural Development of the Lower Austrian Government, represented by Christian Steiner, Grad. Eng, and Dr. Erwin Szlezak.
Work program

Titus Corlatean, Foreign Minister of Romania, gave his thanks to the Province of Lower Austria for the orientation of this meeting. Its aim is an exchange of thoughts about the status quo of the Danube region, and its perspectives on the future, according to Corlatean.

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn observed "impressive progress" within the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, for instance in the field of navigability of the Danube. He also reported about initiating a common Research and Innovation Fund for the Danube Region.


Photos: ©Amt der NÖ Landesregierung/Abteilung Landentwicklung/Nadja Meister

Photo "dl_amt2012_001.jpg": © Bernhard Kuderer
Photo "dl_amt2012_002.jpg": © NÖ Landespressedienst/Filzwieser