Salon Europa-Forum Wachau - Invest in Regioanl Cooperation

Danube-Moldova European Region celebrates its 10th anniversary
LR Eichtinger: Cross-border healthcare cooperation crucial for Lower Austria

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Danube-Moldova European Region (EDM), the successful cross-border cooperation of the seven EDM regions in the heart of Europe was discussed under the title "Invest in Regional Cooperation". District Governor Hana Hajnová (Vysočina, CZ) and Deputy District Governor František Talíř (South Bohemia, CZ) to the Lower Austrian State House in St. Pölten.

"The EDM makes an important contribution to the realisation of the European idea and to the positive development of the European region in the areas of economy, tourism, transport and mobility as well as health. Cross-border cooperation in the health sector and healthcare close to home are essential for our shared living space," explained Provincial Councillor Martin Eichtinger, explaining the health focus of the Lower Austrian Presidency. "With the Healthacross initiative, Lower Austria is happy to provide its expertise in cross-border healthcare in the European region. The Gmünd - České Velenice health centre, the cross-border rescue service and clinics that cooperate across borders create security of care and make Europe tangible in the Lower Austrian border region," said Eichtinger.

At the anniversary event, reference was made to successes such as the EDM's periodically published university guide. "Interregional cooperation creates trust and understanding between the regions. It is precisely this cooperation and mutual acceptance that are currently more important than ever, as they guarantee dialogue, drive decisions in the interests of the population and are of particular importance in terms of securing peace in Europe," Eichtinger is convinced. In addition to the health focus, the EDM is also particularly concerned with the areas of Industry 4.0, tourism, higher education, energy and transport.

"For Upper Austria, future-oriented location development with a special focus on the circular economy is at the centre of everything we do. Cooperation with the partner regions in the Danube-Moldova European Region is essential for us in this regard. After all, the circular economy also means establishing and expanding networks that benefit from each other. This is why the current annual programme is also dedicated to building networks and exchanging information on resource efficiency and the circular economy. A first example of this is the information event 'Circular economy in EDM', which will take place online on 5 December. The EDM regions will be represented here and provide both strategic and practical insights into their circular economy activities. The resulting network will also be expanded in the future with events and targeted activities," emphasises Upper Austria's Provincial Councillor for Economic and European Affairs Markus Achleitner.

District Councillor Libor Picka from the Pilsen region: "I often say that we in the Czech-Bavarian border region are not at the edge of the republic, but at its beginning. The development of sensitive tourism outside the tourist centres, maintaining the accessibility of services, supporting young families, building high-quality infrastructure - this is a recipe against the depopulation of our rural areas and a hope for our border regions with previously untapped potential."

Deputy District Governor František Talíř from the South Bohemia region commented on the anniversary event: "It is an honour and a pleasure for me to take part in this important day for the European Danube-Vltava region. I wish us all that the next ten years of this important cross-border cooperation will continue as successfully as before. A functioning interregional partnership is crucial for the realisation of successful cross-border projects and for building friendly relations that can withstand any crisis. I see this as the task of the Danube-Moldova European Region."

According to Deputy District Governor Hana Hajnová, the EDM has been proving for ten years that the efforts to solve problems together work: "I see the greatest contribution for the Vysočina district in the transfer of expertise and the connection of relevant stakeholders. This has made it possible to implement a number of successful projects. I am convinced that EDM will continue to flourish in the coming years on the basis of these partnerships."

In the run-up to the Salon event, the EDM Executive Committee meeting took place, at which the work priorities for the coming year were defined and the chairmanship was handed over to the Lower Bavaria region. Lower Bavaria will be focussing on the Bavarian State Garden Show in Freyung in 2023, where Lower Austria will also be represented with Nature in the Garden. District President Olaf Heinrich on Lower Bavaria's forthcoming presidency: "In my view, the future of Europe lies particularly in trusting cooperation between neighbouring regions. Together we can overcome challenges that affect us all in the border region. The EDM has been working together in this spirit for ten years - a decade of honest cooperation."