Programme priorities

The cooperation programme is structured across four priority axes (a fifth priority axis is related to the Technical Assistance of the Danube Transnational Programme) that intend to develop coordinated policies and actions in the programme area reinforcing the commitments of the Europe 2020 strategy towards the three dimensions of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The priorities of the Danube Transnational Programme are based on the specific characteristics and needs of the programme area which have been identified and agreed through an extensive programming and consultation process among the programme stakeholders and a wider ETC community. Moreover, the programming took into account lessons learned from previous programming periods, the given financial framework and the existence of suitable implementation and administration structures.

The projects supported by the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) must form transnational partnerships to cooperate together in the following four thematic priorities and specific objectives:

DTP achievements for a better Danube region

Innovative and socially responsible Danube region

In order to contribute to the implementation of the flagship initiative “Innovation Union of the Europe 2020 Strategy” in the Danube Region countries, the programme pays specific attention to a number of innovation topics of broad relevance in the cooperation area such as eco-innovation, knowledge transfer, cluster policy, social innovation and skilled entrepreneurship including technological and non-technological innovation aspects. The social dimension in innovation (social innovation, educational aspects, and entrepreneurship skills) is given high importance. Research and innovation is interlinked with other thematic objectives addressed by the programme. The Specific Objectives covered by Priority 1 are:

  • Improve framework conditions for innovation
  • Increase competences for business and social innovation

The total budget for Priority 1 is: 59 309 328 €

DTP achievements in innovation and competences

Environment and culture responsible Danube region

The Danube Transnational Programme strengthens joint and integrated approaches to preserve and manage the diversity of natural and cultural assets in the Danube region as a basis for sustainable development and growth strategies. Moreover the programme envisages investing in the creation and/or maintenance of ecological corridors of transnational relevance in the Danube region. This intervention is directly interlinked with water management and the control of environmental risk factors such as flood risks. Furthermore, disaster prevention and disaster management (risk management) is addressed related to risks that are caused by non-functioning ecosystems and man-made changes in climate conditions. The Specific Objectives covered by Priority 2 are:

  • Strengthen transnational water management and flood risk prevention
  • Foster sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage and resources
  • Foster the restoration and management of ecological corridors
  • Improve preparedness for environmental risk management

The total budget for Priority 2 is: 83 026 134 €

DTP achievements in environment and natural and cultural heritage 

Better connected and energy responsible Danube region

The cooperation programme tackles common challenges related to environmentally-friendly (including low-noise), low-carbon and safe transport systems including inland waterways & ports and multimodal links in order to contribute to sustainable regional and local mobility, modal integration and intelligent transport. The programme intends also to support the regional connectivity and the balanced accessibility of urban and rural areas. Better management of regional mobility and better permeability of borders at the regional level should ensure that urban and rural areas benefit from the opportunities created by the major transportation networks which are developed at the European level. On the other hand, energy is a typical issue in which a transnational approach is essential in order to ensure the security of supply of the countries, market integration and more effective regional planning, as well as to jointly identify the most critical infrastructure developments. Regional energy planning and coordination should be improved across the Danube region within the wider context of EU energy policy-making to safeguard the security and efficiency of energy supplies. Another aspect is the development of smart distribution systems where the programme area is still in the early stages. The programme aims to contribute within its specific scope to the development of smart energy distribution systems to make the significant investments of regions in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and smart grids more efficient. The Specific Objectives covered by Priority 3 are:

  • Support environmentally-friendly and safe transport systems and balanced accessibility of urban and rural areas
  • Improve energy security and energy efficiency

The total budget for Priority 3 is: 45 541 913 €

DTP achievements in sustainable transport and energy 

Well-governed Danube region

Institutional cooperation and capacity is a key target and the vital element of the programme at the same time. Institutional capacity is not just a technical matter of training civil servants, but it relates to how public authorities interact with and deliver services to businesses and citizens. "Good governance" is the basis and ultimate objective for institutional capacity building. Good governance builds trust and social capital. States with a high level of social capital tend to perform better economically.

The need has been identified by the analysis to develop the capacities of the public authorities and other public and civil society stakeholders to become able to tackle more effectively the challenges of highest relevance for the region. Establishing institutional cooperation by the programme should lead to improving legal and policy frameworks, developing strategies and action plans, development of joint capacities and coordinated delivery of services in areas with major societal challenges such as labour market policies, education systems and policies, demographic change and migration challenges, inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups, participatory planning process and involvement of civil society, urban-rural cooperation and partnership, cooperation on safety, justice and security issues. In addition, Priotity 4 addresses the need to strengthen the governance and to ease the implementation of the EUSDR through targeted support measures. The Specific Objectives covered by Priority 4 are:

  • Improve institutional capacities to tackle major societal challenges
  • Support to the governance and implementation of the EUSDR

The total budget for Priority 4 is: 38 616 369 €

DTP achievements in governance and improvement of institutional capacity

More information about the priorities in the Cooperation Programme  Version 7.1 (2020)

You can find more detailed information on the priorities from our brochure 

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)