“Building cohesion for a shared prosperity in the Danube Region” – this was the motto of the 8th EUSDR Annual Forum where EDU-LAB was among the five selected Danube Transnational Programme projects that were presented.

The 8th EUSDR Annual Forum was organised on 27-28 June in Bucharest, with the key topics being connectivity and regional mobility, digitalization, tourism and post-2020 EU policy design. As Romania has been holding the 2019 EUSDR Presidency, the conference was co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, the European Commission and the Danube Transnational Program. Just like in previous years, high-level officials, experts of different fields and representatives of DTP projects came together to discuss the developments and future strategy in the Danube Region.

During the session “The present and future roles of the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) in the Danube region”, selected Thematic Poles and projects gave an overview of the work. The session was opened by Eloy Gomez Girón, Communication Officer of the Joint Secretariat of DTP and Imre Csalagovits, Head of the DTP Managing Authority, who explained how the programme serves to facilitate the social and economic development of the region through transnational cooperation.

After the introduction, Mátyás Jaschitz, Director of Planning at Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI), held a keynote speech on the territorial analysis of the Danube region. Regarding the most pressing challenges of the region, he also highlighted the brain drain, leaving several regions with labour shortage. “Internal migration is something very Danubian, creating a loser-winner situation which should be tackled somehow.” – he said. These findings further confirm the relevance of EDU-LAB which was developed precisely to contribute to the solution of this issue.

The next part of the session was dedicated to selected Thematic Poles and DTP projects. As Pole Leader of Thematic Pole 9 Educational Governance (and Project Director of EDU-LAB), Dr. des. Ágnes Sebestyén gave a presentation on the Pole`s activities in the past few years. She emphasised that the Pole created a great opportunity for mediating between project representatives, PA coordinators and the DTP. “The Thematic Pole gave us a lot of freedom. We could use it for purposes we really needed.”- she said, mentioning that finding cooperation models between different stakeholder groups who work in different ways was the greatest added value of the Pole`s work.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster (Chair, European Foundation for Education), as initiator of EDU-LAB then presented the project, recounting the main outputs of the project: the development of the New Danubian Governance Model, the achievements in the pilot countries and the signing of the Danubian Charter.

Besides EDU-LAB, the following projects were presented:

Read more about the Forum here.