Taken into consideration the evolution of the international epidemiological situation, generated by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in more than 150 countries, as well as the fact that the above-mentioned elements define an exceptional context which could not be foreseen, the Organizing Committee decided to postpone the Cooperation Forum in the Danube Region, scheduled to take place in Galati, on April 23rd - 24th, 2020. This measure was taking regarding the general public’s interest, in an extraordinary situation, which requires exceptional measures. The new provisional period is September 24th - 25th, 2020, hopefully in a safe epidemiological context.
Formally launched in 2011, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), it is one of the four macro-strategies existing at the level of the European Union, being co-initiated by Romania and Austria. It represents a mechanism of cooperation of the countries from the Danube basin for the economic, social and territorial development of the Danube macro-region.
The exercise of the EUSDR presidency by Romania, from November 1, 2018 and October 3, 2019, allowed the promotion of the themes and initiatives of interest for the Danube basin at European and regional level, as well as assumption of facilitator role of aiming at achieving consensus among Member States.
Under the motto "The Danube Region: building cohesion for a shared prosperity", Romania pursued the optimal exploitation of opportunities offered during the mandate of the EUSDR Presidency and promoted all the proposed objectives and themes for boosting the Strategy. In the context of the partial overlap of the EUSDR mandate with that of the EU Council, Romania aims to create new opportunities to revitalize the Strategy, by developing new processes of cooperation between the various actors involved in its implementation.
The Danube Cooperation Forum is an annual event held in Galati, during which government representatives, together with European officials, as well as from the administrations of regions and cities, as well as experts and academics will have the opportunity to share good practice and knowledge in regional and urban development.
The forum is also a recognized platform for dialogue on political and economic issues on the development of the Danube region and to raise decision-makers' awareness of the importance of local and regional partners in the process of EU policy making. It is also characterized by a high density of activities, being structured in thematic sessions, workshops and panels. At the same time, the event will be a platform for networking and direct contacts between participants. The Cooperation Forum in the Danube Region aims to be a working and dialogue format for the analysis of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) in order to seek, together with representatives from the academic, economic, social and political environment, the best European solutions for the challenges faced by the states in the region.
The event will give to the participants the opportunity to share their own expertise, experience, and to familiarise themselves with best practices on a range of regional themes (local and regional development, youth, resilience, energy security, environmental security, citizenship, European policies, neighbourhood policy etc.). It also encourages the dialogue with stakeholders and engages in new partnerships and joint projects that can provide solutions to regional challenges.
Synergies between the Forum and existing initiatives of Romania:
The Cooperation Forum for the Danube Region establishes the following general objectives:
Romania's history has never been so idyllic and quiet as it is for the scenery. Land inhabited by hardworking, dignified and courageous people, was always challenged by waves of invaders who attacked this part of Europe. Romania is a relatively young state. It was founded in 1859 by the union of Moldavia with Wallachia, later joined by Dobrogea in 1878 and Transylvania and Bukovina in 1918. The only common element has always been the Romanian language, a Latin language. Romanians are the only people of latin origin from this part of Europe, the only one from the eastern part of the continent keeping a memory of the old Rome.
The city of Galati is located on the left bank of the Danube, 80 km from the Danube Delta, and has four ports – a port for passenger transport and three ports for freight transport. Galati is the second biggest port of Romania, with the possibility of connecting to the Black Sea, because from the city of Braila the Danube river is maritime. The most important part of Romania’s timber exports is made through its ports. The most important port on the Danube, built 12 decades ago, ”Port Bazinul Nou” offers a range of services: loading, unloading, bonding, warehousing facilities: sheet and strip of steel, aluminum, timber, logs, grain, machinery and other loads.