Vienna, 13 May 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: “The Danube and Black Sea regions will bring a vital impetus for the future of Europe in its entirety”

“Gateway to Europe” Conference begins in Krems, Austria

Vienna, 13 May 2013 – Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger stressed the progress and potential of the EU Danube Strategy at the “Gateway to Europe” Conference that opened today at the Danube University of Krems. “I am convinced that the concept of the macro-regional strategy represents a true added value boost for regional cooperation”, Spindelegger said in his opening address. “The fourteen countries of the Danube region, whether EU members or not, are all working to achieve the objectives of this strategy – linking up all parts of the Danube region, protecting the environment, sustainable social development, creating prosperity and strengthening this entire area.”

The issues of central importance for realising these aims are an improvement of the existing instruments and reinforcing the institutional capacities of the region. “Business can only develop successfully in an environment in which the quality of the administration is also assured. To do this the creation of the highest level of competence, reduction of malfunctioning and the assurance of transparency are decisive”, the Vice-Chancellor said.

In his address, Spindelegger welcomed discussions on increased cooperation between the harbours of the Danube and Black Sea regions, which together represent an ever more dynamic economic space of some 170 million inhabitants. In addition to the resultant economic impetus, closer cooperation of the regions “can bring about further stabilisation and modernisation of the Black Sea region in terms of democracy, rule of law and prosperity.”

Representatives from the Danube and Black Sea regions are meeting in Krems at the “Gateway to Europe” Black Sea Conference. Reinforced cooperation between the Danube countries working group and the regions and harbours on the western shores of the Black Sea is being prepared at the event. A “sustainable and integrated impetus is expected to emerge for the Black Sea and Danube regions as a result of this cooperation”, Spindelegger said in closing his address.

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