THE EU STRATEGY FOR THE DANUBE REGION AS AN INCLUSIVE FORM OF CROSS-BORDER ECONOMY

Yurii Maslov

Abstract


The article considers the process of creation and features of activities of various types of transborder formations peculiar for the European Union. Today the cooperation within Euroregions becomes more and more widespread practice both in the EU and among the regions of countries-participants of the Union and those ones neighbouring to the EU, including Ukraine. The problem of modernization of the EU regional policy in the context of the intensification of globalization processes is touched upon. The influence of global factors and changes in the EU regional policy on the transformation of Ukrainian regional policy is determined. In the context of the development of the regional policy of Ukraine, problems of economic development and well-being of citizens in Ukrainian regions are identified; development directions for the cooperation of Ukraine and the EU in this area are established. The purpose of the article is to consider issues of cross-border economy, cross-border region, classify them, define features of Euroregion and, based on the analysis conducted, consider imperatives and problems related to the development and introduction of the Danube Strategy and identify the place and opportunities of Ukraine in this association. The macro-regional approach to solving the tasks of the integration policy of the European Union chosen by the European Union Committee allows uniting the territories according to the principle of their mutual supplementation, reducing the barriers of national borders and creating new opportunities for cross-border regions. The Danube Strategy, despite the common principles and methodologies for the formation of Euroregions, has obvious features. Firstly, the region is characterized by deep imbalances both between countries and within countries themselves. Secondly, the Strategy is an example of a multidisciplinary approach to territorial planning in the region and has a pronounced ecological character, and environmental problems are solved in the search for a compromise with the tasks of socio-economic development. Thirdly, being the internal strategy of the European Union, however, has a significant external dimension, the incorporation of which can be quite a challenge. There are four main directions for the regional development in the Danube Strategy (so-called “pillars”: association, ecology, well-being, strengthening). For each direction, priority areas are designated that are supervised by the coordinating countries. Conceptually, the EUSDR is a continuation of the Europe-2020 strategic document of the EU and proclaims the achievement of the region of “smart, sustainable and inclusive development” as its main objectives. At the same time, a kind of paradox is that the Danube strategy aimed at levelling social, economic, institutional gaps in the region generates them by the very principles of its existence. It is hard to imagine that unequal countries, getting too different funding, will be able to equalize their capabilities at the finish. The strategy will help realize the EU’s obvious desire to transform the Danube into an internal transport artery with a highly developed infrastructure and improved cargo traffic, which will allow connecting the North Sea with the Black and Azov seas, placing the transportation of resources of Caspian region and Asia under control of European structures. The creation and activity of cross-border regions make a significant contribution both to the strengthening of political and economic integration within the EU and to the development of cooperation between the member countries of the Union and neighbouring states.

Keywords


European Union, cross-border associations, Euroregions, Danube region, integration, macro-regional approach

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30525/2256-0742/2018-4-5-200-208

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