The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is a joint macro-regional strategy of the countries of the Danube Region and the European Commission. The EUSDR area includes the German Federal States Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and some border regions of Ukraine. The aim of the strategy is to address common challenges by coordinating existing policies and initiatives and to increase network activities to expand the beneficial use of existing funding opportunities.

In 2013, the coordinator of Priority Area 8 (“To support the competitiveness of enterprises”) of the EUSDR, the Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg, commissioned the present project on the socio-economic assessment of the Danube Region with financial support from the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission. The goal of the project is to analyse the current situation in the Danube Region with respect to prosperity, entrepreneurship/SMEs and cooperation activities to identify the obstacles which hinder the improvement of the situation. It is also investigated what – in the view of regional experts and political and administrative decision makers – are sensible areas for activities which can be pursued as part of the EUSDR.

The project has two parts. In the first part, extensive data has been collected on the competitiveness, entrepreneurship and SMEs as well as cooperation in the Danube Region. In addition, a set of preliminary recommendations has been formulated. The data analysis has been updated once in order to consider the most recent data available. In the second part, a qualitative analysis based on focus groups and an online discussion has been carried to identify possible cooperation activities and their restrictions and to include the views of regional experts (policy, public administration, academia, business) for formulating recommendations.

The project has been carried out by the ZEW together with the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW) Tübingen and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw). More information on the EUSDR can be found here: www.danube-region.eu.

Selected Publications

Expertises

Müller, Bettina and Hannes Leo (2015), Socio-Economic Assessment of the Danube Region: State of the Region, Challenges and Strategy Development - Future Strategic Orientation of the EUSDR, Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Wien. Download

Müller, Bettina and Hannes Leo (2015), Socio-Economic Assessment of the Danube Region: State of the Region, Challenges and Strategy Development - Future Strategic Orientation of the EUSDR - Appendix, Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Wien. Download

Achtnicht, Martin, Bernhard Boockmann, Mariela Borell, Gabor Hunya, Günther Klee, Raimund Krumm, Bettina Müller, Dragos Pislaru, Roman Römisch and Hermine Vidovic (2015), Socio-Economic Assessment of the Danube Region: State of the Region, Challenges and Strategy Development - Final Report Part I Update, Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Tübingen, Wien. Download

ZEW, IAW and wiiw (2015), Policy Paper: Labour Market and Migration in the Danube Region, Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Tübingen, Wien. Download

ZEW, IAW and wiiw (2014), Policy Paper: Regional Policy in the Danube Region – Benefiting from Heterogeneity, Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Tübingen, Wien. Download

ZEW, IAW and wiiw (2014), Policy Paper: Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Tübingen, Wien. Download

ZEW, IAW and wiiw (2014), Policy Paper: Economic Prosperity of the Danube Region, Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Tübingen, Wien. Download

Achtnicht, Martin, Bernhard Boockmann, Mariela Borell, Konstantin Gantert, Gabor Hunya, Marcus Kappler, Günther Klee, Raimund Krumm, Bettina Müller, Katja Neugebauer, Dragos Pislaru, Roman Römisch and Hermine Vidovic (2014), Socio-Economic Assessment of the Danube Region: State of the Region, Challenges and Strategy Development - Final Report Part I, Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics on behalf of the European Commission, Mannheim, Tübingen, Wien. Download