20th Year Anniversary of the Danube Countries Working Community - May 17, 2010


St. Poelten (OTS/NLK) - It was exactly on that day, twenty years ago, when the Danube Countries Working Community were founded by 14 members in the year 1990 with the target to cooperate on a supranational basis. Today the Working Community consists of 38 members in ten states bordering the Danube, from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.

On the occasion of the 20th year founding anniversary on Monday, May 17 a celebration took place at the festival room of the Vienna town hall, where at the same time also the 20th meeting of the national governmental leaders of the Danube Countries Working Community was held. In the course of the event, the Provincial Governor of Lower Austria, Dr. Erwin Proell, and the Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Haeupl, were awarded the honorary ring of the Danube Countries Working Community, which was awarded for the first time.

„The Danube will play an important role in the future as well", Governor Proell emphasized in his honorary speech. On the way towards the future, it will be essential to "build upon cross-border cooperation", Mr. Proell emphasized. The province of Lower Austria, according to the Governor, "has triggered many initiatives concerning dialogue and action". In this context, Mr. Proell referred to the Europe Forum in the Wachau valley, the cross-border Lower Austrian provincial exposition in the year 2009, and to the bridge between Schloss Hof castle and the region of Bratislava. "In our times, we are supposed to build bridges instead of burning them", so Mr. Proell.

„Europe has to put an emphasis on the regions", according to the Lower Austrian Governor, with a view to prolong the EU subsidies for target-2 areas from 2014 onwards. The regions have to form a "stable axis". "Europe needs every initiative, which flows towards the common interest despite all its diversity. The Danube Countries Working Committee serves as a good example in this context", with these words Mr. Proell finally congratulated on the anniversary.


„The Danube in its diversity is a mirror image of Europe", so Mayor Haeupl in his own words. The Danube Countries Working Committee, he continues, have significantly contributed to "take up connections, which were torn, and to establish new ones" after the separation by the Iron Curtain. The most significant challenges of the Working Committee are found in the fields of economy and innovation, in environmental conservation and flood protection, in traffic and mobility, as well as in tourism and leisure, according to the Mayor of Vienna. "The Danube Countries Working Committee will in the future as well find their assigned space within a large and common Europe", Mr. Haeupl concluded.

In the course of the honorary celebration, Governor Dr. Erwin Proell received the honorary ring and the honorary gift from the Danube Countries Working Committee "for his tireless support of regional cooperation in the Danube region", and these distinctions were also awarded to Mayor Dr. Michael Haeupl "for his merits regarding the cooperation between towns and regions, especially in the Danube region".

A honorary gift each was also awarded to the Lower Austrian Director of the Regional authorities, Dr. Werner Seif, the Director of the Magistrate and of the Regional authorities of Vienna, Dr. Ernst Theimer, the President of Komitates Bacs-Kiskun, Bányai Gábor, (received by proxy by the Office Director, Dr. Ferency István), the Senior President of Komitates Bacs-Kiskun, Dr. Balogh László, the Office Director of Komitates Bacs-Kiskun, Dr. Ferenczi István, as well as President Prof. Gerhard Skoff (received by proxy by General Secretary Ursula Deutsch).

Within the framework of the meeting of the Danube Countries Working Committee at the town hall, the Department of Rural Development presented the Lower Austrian soil campaign "Our soil, upon which we stand" at an information stand. On the cover, you will see Provincial Governor Dr. Erwin Proell at the soil information stand, together with Christian Steiner, Grad. Eng., and Dr. Erwin Szlezak.


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"Europe must put on the regions, the Lower Austrian provincial governor said further in regard to the continuation of EU funding for Objective 2 areas from 2014. The regions would have to "form a stable axis." "Europe needs any initiative that leads despite the diversity in unity. ARGE Danube countries is a good example", concluded Pröll congratulated the jubilee.

"The Danube is in its diversity is a mirror image of Europe," said Mayor Häupl in his words. The ARGE Danube countries have significantly contributed to the separation by the Iron Curtain "to resume broken connections and make new". The main challenges lie in the working group on economic and innovation, environment and flood control, transport and mobility, and tourism and leisure, the mayor of Vienna. "The ARGE Danube countries will continue to have their place in a large common Europe," said Häupl concluded.

As part of the ceremony was Governor Dr. Erwin Pröll "for his constant support of regional cooperation in the Danube region" the ring of honor and the honor gift of ARGE Danube countries also received these awards, Mayor Michael Häupl "for his contribution to the cooperation between cities and regions particularly in the Danube region ".

The gift also received honorary director of the Lower Austrian State Dr. Werner Seif, the Vienna City Council and State Office Director Dr. Ernst Theimer, the president of the county of Bacs-Kiskun Bányai Gábor (proxy be accepted by the Agency Director Dr. István Ferency), Former President of the county of Bacs- Kiskun Dr. László Balogh, Director of the Office of the County of Bacs-Kiskun Dr. Istvan Ferenczi and President Prof. Gerhard Skoff (acting contrary made by General Secretary Ursula German).

As part of the Danube countries meeting in City Hall, the Department of Rural Development, presented at an information stand NÖ ground campaign, "Our ground - we on it are." On the cover you see Governor Dr. Erwin Pröll on the floor information booth with Mr. Christian Steiner and Dr. Erwin Szlezak.