This article was published under the 2015-2020 European Committee of the Regions mandate.
Macroregional strategies (MRS) are proving able to deliver growth and improve cohesion of neighbouring regions from both EU and non-EU countries, faced by common challenges.
This report concerns the referral from the Romanian Presidency and the upcoming European Commission report on the implementation of macro-regional strategies expected to be issued on 13 December. This referral will look at the implementation of macro-regional strategies, with a particular focus on the Danube strategy and the issue of clusters.
The commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) of the European Committee of the regions (CoR) gathered in Cluj, Romania’s third largest city. Local leaders assessed the impact of macroregional strategies in the report led by Dainis Turlais. The experience developed in the Danube basin shows how macroregions can be an excellent tool for bottom-up territorial coordination, involving all levels of government without creating new red tape.
“Macroregional strategies are improving public services, natural resource management, innovation strategies and many other aspects in the life of involved local communities”, said the rapporteur, adding at the same time that: “a stronger coordination is needed both at EU level, with a better integration of different funding tools and a stronger cooperation of all relevant Directorates of the European Commission”.
Looking at improving coordination at national level, COTER members identified the network of national authorities implementing the European Regional Development Fund in the Baltic Sea Region as a model to replicate in other sectoral policies and geographical areas.