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The Danube Strategy as a Vehicle for the European Renewal

Attila Ágh

This paper suggests a new conceptual framework for the Danube Strategy in the New Europe by outlining three megatrends of the 'European Renewal': First, new growth perspectives have opened up. After the global financial and economic crisis it is clear that there is no return to the pre-crisis situation. The EUSDR may be the symbol for the change of development paradigms, since the Danube Valley is very heterogeneous in economic terms, although very intensively connected culturally and socially; thus it can prove the capacity of social capital and the bottom-up approach. Second, the EUSDR has the potential to amalgamate several macro-regions into one functional macro-region (FMR). It is argued that the EU is on the way of macro-regionalization, since functional macro-regions are the best ways of bridging them for facilitating the rebuilding the European architecture. After a decade or so, the entire EU may be composed of (partly overlapping) FMRs, and the EUSDR has played even so far a pioneering role in this process. Third, the Governance Initiative of the EU clearly acknowledges 'the multidimensional nature of governance, which includes political, social, economic, security, legal, institutional, cultural and environmental aspects, at all levels.' In sum, the EU governance line in both vertical and horizontal terms has prepared the virtual synergy of the EUSDR.

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