The 4th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region was jointly organised by the European Commission, the State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Ulm. Under the title “Smart, social, sustainable - Innovation for the Danube Region“, it put a strong emphasis on topics such as innovation, professional training and dual education, entrepreneurship and civil society as key factors for a sustainable and integrative growth in the Danube Region.
The ICPDR was represented with an information stand, but also contributed to a number of events. These included the following:
- Workshop “Setting water management priorities until 2021 – The Danube River Basin Management Plan 2015”: a lively discussion on the opportunities arising from the EUSDR to help countries fund actions in line with the DRBM Plan in the next six years. Moderated by Balazs Horvath, this workshop featured Knut Beyer (RBM Expert Group), Irene Lucius (WWF), Vladimir Novak (PA4 priority area coordinator and ICPDR Head of Delegation for Slovakia), Stephanie Blutaumüller (Danube Competence Centre) and Miodrag Milovanovic (Cerni Institute and RBM EG national expert for Serbia).
- Workshop “Improving Flood Safety: The 1st FRMP for Danube Basin and the synergies and projects of EUSDR PA5 and ICPDR”. Organised by Priority Area 5 (Environmental Risks) in cooperation with the ICPDR, this will featured ICPDR President Drazen Kurecic and Igor Liska of the ICPDR Secretariat.
- Workshop "Putting synergies into practice: regional initiatives together for sustainable use of local resources": a discussion on past achievements and opportunities for cooperation in the future, attended among others by incoming ICPDR President Petr Kalas and ICPDR Executive Secretary Ivan Zavadsky.
- Workshop “Protecting the environment in the Danube Region: integrated horizontal cooperation”. A joint session of PAs 4, 5 and 6 (environmental pillar). With participation of Adam Kovacs of the ICPDR Secretariat. Following the workshop, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Tisza Group of the ICPDR and the Carpathian Convention to further formalise the successful cooperation of these two entities.
- Workshop “Sturgeon 2020 – a project to foster horizontal cooperation among all Priority Areas of the EUSDR”. With participation of ICPDR Executive Secretary Ivan Zavadsky.
- Workshop “Paving the way for joint action in the Danube Region: sharing good practices and identifying synergies in research and innovation support”. With participation of Raimund Mair of the ICPDR Secretariat.
Throughout the forum, the ICPDR information stand invited participants to marvel at an exhibition with the award-winning photography by Andre Künzelmann of UFZ, demonstrating the efforts that went into the Joint Danube Survey 3, the biggest river expedition of recent years. Publications by the ICPDR could be obtained here to support the various workshops.