Romania welcomes release of European Commission's report on implementing EU macro-regional strategies

Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) welcomes the release of the second European Commission report on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies (MRS).

According to a press statement released by MAE on Monday, the four macro-regional strategies represent "real platforms for sectoral co-operation between EU member states and non-EU countries, demonstrating in time the usefulness of tools to promote transnational projects."

According to MAE, the two-prong report evaluates the implementation of the four strategies in the current economic context, supporting the participating countries improving their long-term strategic co-operation, while outlining the impact of macro-regional strategies on regional development.

At the same time, scenarios for developing macro-regional strategies are proposed in the document, included in the post-2020 multiannual financial programming period. The assessment by the European Commission will form the basis for the conclusions to be adopted by the EU Council on the implementation of macro-regional strategies during the period when Romania holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The ministry shows that "Romania, as the current holder of the presidency, is looking forward to the views on this report of the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee."

"Creating better synergy between strategies and programmes could help our countries bridge social, economic and territorial gaps between Europe's West and the East and North and South. The macro-regional approach can only work if there is close co-operation between the regional, national and local levels in planning together and align financial resources."

Discussions on the post-2020 financial framework are an opportunity for a deeper reflection on the role of EU macro-regional strategies in ensuring better implementation of the EU budget. In this respect, it is necessary to ensure a more synergistic approach between the priorities tackled by the macro-regional strategies and the financial targets set at EU level.

Romania remains a strong supporter of macro-regional strategies on the EU agenda, positively assessing the added value and impact of these strategies on securing social and economic cohesion and narrowing territorial gaps in the macro-regions within the EU, the ministry shows.

Since the adoption by the European Council of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy (EUSBSR) in 2009, three other EU macro-regional strategies (MRS) have been developed: the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) in 2011, the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) in 2014 and the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) in 2016.

On 16 December 2016, the European Commission adopted its first report on the implementation of the four MRSs, currently involving 19 EU member states and 8 non-EU countries. These MRSs have become an integral part of the EU's policy framework; they provide an important potential and contribute in a unique and innovative way to co-operation within the EU and with neighbouring countries. AGERPRES / (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Florin Marin; EN author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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