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The Strategy for the Danube Region: Connecting Market Corridors to Increase Global Competitiveness

Attila Agh

Thus far, the European Union (EU) has started to develop and implement two macro-regional strategies: one for the Baltic Sea region, another for the Danube region.The macro-regional concept itself needs to be seen as some form of “multilevel” answer to the territorial challenge of the wider EU. The Strategy for the Danube Region(DRS) has it has to be formulated first at the level of those concerned member states, second at the level of all river states as a giant development programme, third, atthe EU level as a “meta-program” for all member states, including the common Rhine-Main-Danube waterways as a huge logistic programme. Finally, fourth, at theglobal level as a part of the EU programme for improving its global competitiveness by upgrading the internal cooperation in the Danube region and enabling it tocatalyse the EU’s external relations. The Danube Region has been the largest unused territorial potential of the EU and the real challenge is the mobilizing of thisneglected quot; actually wasted quot; territorial capital by turning it into a powerful macro-regional social capital. The extent to which territorial capital can be turnedinto social capital is the key issue not only for the (macro-) regional competitiveness in the global context, but also for the global competitiveness of the EU as a whole.For the EU the DRS brings about creating and connecting market corridors to four directions quot; to the North Western, South European, East European and MiddleEast markets, that will increase the global competitiveness of the EU a great deal.

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