On 19 August 2018 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law on Ratification of the Agreement on Financing of the Danube Transnational Programme (Interreg V-B Danube - CCI 2014TC16M6TN001).
The experts from the Ukrainian Institute for International Politics explained the importance of this decision:
- Ratification of the agreement on financing of the Danube Transnational Programme creates the legal basis for obtaining funds from the EU funds and joint projects with the member states of the European Union, in particular, within the framework of the European Strategy for the Danube Region.
- The Danube Transnational Programme is a financial and European integration tool. The goal of the programme is to develop communities in 14 countries of the Danube Region (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Ukraine) by strengthening cross-border cooperation.
- The programme promotes qualitative changes in the region through funding projects aimed at increasing business competitiveness, investing in social innovation, developing energy efficiency, building institutional capacity and overcoming environmental threats.
- The format of the programme involves conducting annual competitions for project applications for potential partners. Two competitions have already taken place and projects have begun to be implemented. The announcement of the start of the next competition is expected by the end of this year.
- The Ukrainian part of the Danube Region covers the Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia Oblasts. Local and regional authorities, international organisations, non-profit institutions can take part in the competitions for project proposals. Stakeholders, not territorially covered by the programme, but competent in the areas related to the Danube Region, and whose activities are in line with the programme’s interests, can also submit their projects. During the second round of the call for proposals, 7 out of 22 selected winning projects were submitted with the participation of the Ukrainian partners. Thus, soon the first Ukrainian projects will start to be implemented within the framework of the programme.
- To support the programme, a National Coordination and Contact Point of the Danube Transnational Programme was established in Ukraine. The main objectives of the Point are to provide support in designing, implementing and evaluating projects, seeking and informing potential project partners, and supporting communication between participants.