Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanyshyna stated on July 22 during a meeting on strategic issues of pursuing the state policy in the field of cross-border and regional cooperation with the European Union.
“It has been several years since Ukraine joined the Danube Strategy and the EU Strategy for the Carpathian Region, but I can observe the lack of activity in this direction. We have wasted a lot of time, so I commission all those present to immediately take all necessary steps on the part of Ukraine and ensure the proper role of Ukraine in the aforesaid initiatives. Our goal is to use all opportunities, in particular for the development of cross-border cooperation. It is critical to resume work in the framework of intergovernmental commissions with our neighbors, EU member states. It is also important to resume the work of the relevant Coordination Center of the Danube Strategy as soon as possible and approve the Action Plan," said Olha Stefanyshyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that strengthening Ukraine’s cross-border cooperation with EU countries is of great importance as a tool for intensifying economic ties and raising the living standards of citizens in Ukraine’s border areas. It is also an important element in the realization of our country's European integration aspirations.
“Ukraine should become a priority partner in the implementation of new cross-border cooperation programs between the countries of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership initiative. That is why Ukraine must demonstrate a number of results in building an enhanced dialogue with the EU and the countries involved in joint programs. At that, it is significant to place additional emphasis on attracting new non-credit instruments for financing cross-border cooperation projects,” the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.
Representatives of the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, the State Audit Service of Ukraine and others took part in the meeting.
The European Union Strategy for the Danube Region was approved by the EU Council on 24 June 2011. It focuses on the infrastructural, environmental, socio-economic and institutional development of the region. The strategy covers 9 EU countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, as well as 5 non-member countries - Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Moldova and Ukraine. Funding for projects under the Strategy can be provided from existing technical assistance programs of the EU and international financial organizations, national budgets.