The long-standing experience and perspectives of the CEI as the oldest and largest intergovernmental forum promoting regional cooperation and serving as a bridge between macro-regions, was presented at the workshop dedicated to the role of Civil Society organisations (CSOs) in democracy building and EU integration, in the framework of the 3rd Annual forum of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), on 26 and 27 June 2014.

This major strategic event, organised by the European Commission together with the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna, gathered stakeholders from the entire Danube area with the aim of further developing strategic direction and discussing vital questions of the Strategy’s prospects and challenges.

“The CEI was officially recognised as a Danube Region stakeholder and was mentioned in the EUSDR Action Plan under chapters on energy and competitiveness, and is already active in several fields that are covered by the EUSDR, such as science and transport, and also in the field of competence building”, said CEI Alternate Secretary General, Amb. Margit Waestfelt, who represented the CEI at the Forum. The role of the CEI in the EUSDR is strengthened by its experience in participating as a partner in the FP7 Danube-INCO.NET project, which supports the implementation of the EUSDR in the field of research and innovation, Waestfelt recalled.

“The role of civil society needs to be strengthened especially in non-EU countries of the Danube region. Regional cooperation for the development of dynamic civil societies in non-EU countries is the CEI priority, as well as a pivotal aspect of the EU enlargement process”, the CEI Alternate SG said.
 
The CSOs from the CEI region  - widely coinciding with the EUSDR target area - are eligible for CEI funding through the CEI Know How Exchange Programme (KEP Italy and KEP Austria), as well as through the CEI Cooperation Fund, contributed by all CEI Member Countries, the CEI’s main tool for promoting people-to-people contacts across the CEI region.
  • More about the 3rd Annual Forum of the EUSDR available here
  • Official Programme available here
 

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development