EU funding and projects in the framework of the EUSDR and in PA 8
The EU-Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is at first a networking programme.
One of the main objectives of the EUSDR is to identify, support and promote projects in the countries of the Danube Region which are of relevance for the implementation of the targets set in the Action Plan for the 11 Priority Areas.
INTERREG V B - Danube Region
The Danube region is characterised by different landscapes, economic and cultural areas. Being the river with the most riparian parties worldwide, the Danube is the connecting link between these regions. Besides the nine EU member states Bulgaria, Germany (Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria), Croatia, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary, the Danube Region covers Bosnia-Hecegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and parts of the Ukraine. A main challenge is the very diverse economic power of the regions involved.
The Danube Transnational Programme supports projects concerning the following four priority axes:
Priority 1: Innovative and socially responsible Danube region
Priority 2: Environment- and culture-responsible Danube region
Priority 3: Better connected and energy-responsible Danube region
Priority 4: Well governed Danube region
Budget and funding
Danube region (2014 - 2020): 263 million euros
Funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 202 million euros
EU cofinancing rate: 85 %
Average project funds: 1 - 5 million euros
Eligible for funding: staff costs, organisation and travel costs, external expertise costs, equipment expenditure, investments (limited)
How to become a project Partner Under the Danube Transnational Programme, at least three partners from at least three different countries join within a project for usually three years, at least one country having to be an EU member state. A lead partner assumes the overall control of a project. The programme addresses public and private stakeholders. The following Partners are eligible for funding under the Danube Transnational Programme:
Public authorities (natinonal, regional, local authorities)|(Public) service Providers| Research institutes and universities| Chambers and associations| Business support organisations| Enterprises| Non-governmental organisations
In the PA 8 project groups are organizing and developing project proposals within theDanube Transnational Programme 2014-2020 on topics including innovation and technology transfer, environmental technologies and rural development.
The realization of projects and initiatives is essential for the success of the EUSDR. START- Danube Region Project Fund is a new pilot initiative of the EUSDR and provides Seed Money for the development and implementation of Danube region projects. Seed Money means that the beneficiaries receive an early pre-financing in order to cover the project expenses from the beginning. This helps especially small organisations with limited resources to START their projects.
START is coordinated by PAC 10 with the involvement of all Priority Areas. Euro Vienna ensures the operational implementation of the Facility.
The allocation to the first call amounts to € 900.000. The allocation to the second call amounts to € 450.000. 95 % of the START budget is financed by the European Commission, 5 % by the City of Vienna. The START initiative is running until the end of 2016, 2 calls for project proposals have already been launched.
The second call has taken place. The evaluation process is still pending.
Technical Assistance Facility for Danube Region Projects (TAF-DRP)
Very often, many project ideas never turn into concrete projects, due to the lack of capacity, know-how and resources for preparing such projects, as well as the existence of legal, technical or financial obstacles.
The TAF-DRP is an EU grant scheme to develop project ideas relevant to the EU Strategy for the Danube region, into “bankable/fundable” project concepts.
Consultant services are provided free of charge to selected project Applicants, up to a value of € 25.000 and for a duration of maximum 6 months.
The selection process of the third call has taken place. The evaluation is still pending.
National Authorities for Apprenticeships: Introduction of Elements Dual VET Slovak Republic
In PA 8 "Competitiveness of enterprises including cluster development” a flagship project "National Authorities for Apprenticeship – Introduction of Elements of Dual Vocational Education and Training in the Slovak Republic” (INT-VET) was set up with seven partners from three Danube Countries (DE, AU, SVK) in cooperation with PA 7 "Knowledge society". The project which is co-financed by the European Commission within the Program ERASMUS+ started in October 2014 and will last 24 months.
Main objectives are to contribute to further modernization of the system of vocational education and training (VET) in Slovakia and to establish of a Competence Centre for Dual VET (Danube Academy) that supports apprenticeships and work-based learning in Slovakia and the Danube region. Thereby, INT-VET shall contribute to the reduction of the high youth unemployment and shortage of qualified work force in Slovakia and the Danube Region.
Furthermore the transfer of positive experiences from Germany (Baden-Wurttemberg) and Austria should be a contribution towards creation of compatible systems of education in the Danube region.
Expected concrete results of the project are:
Promote the national VET system reform in Slovakia
Developing a project vision of a competence center, focused on education of teachers and in-company trainers/instructors of the Danube countries
Strengthening the support and mobilization of SMEs for VET