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9:30    Registration of participants and coffee

10:00  Welcome and introduction

  • Mendoza Castro, President of the Study Group on the "Towards better economic convergence and competitiveness within macro-regions such as the European Strategy for the Danube Region-The role of transnational clusters", European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Economic convergence and competitiveness within macro-regions– key points of the opinion

  • Dimitris Dimitriadis, Rapporteur for the opinion on the "Future of cohesion policy", EESC

10:15  Key note speech of Melania-Gabriela Ciot, Secretary of State for European Affairs at the Romanian Minister of European Affairs (Presidency of EU)

10:30  The development of interconnectivity, mobility and competitiveness in the Black Sea Basin in the context of the implementation of EUSDR: the perspective of the business community

Moderator: Petru Sorin Dandea, EESC Member

  • Miklós Barabás, Director of European House, Coordinator of Danubiana Network in Budapest (Hungary)
  • Dorel Paraschiv, Vice-rector for Business, Social Environment and Student Life at Academy of Economic Studies at the University of Economic Studies (ASE), Romania
  • Claudia Singer, Priority Area Coordinator, EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), Germany


11:30  Social partnerships and their cooperation in the Danube Region-How can  civil society involve better and more effectively to achieve the objectives of digitalisation and cross-border cooperation of businesses

Moderator: Michael Smyth, EESC Member

  • Ciprian Preda, State Secretary, Ministry of Research and Innovation of Romania, Vice-President of the National Council for Ethics and University Management (CEMU)
  • Monica Magureanu, Expert Development Service, Directorate for Development and Communication, South Muntenia Regional Development Agency, Romania
  • Iva Taralezhkova, Head of the Bulgarian Participation Forum


13:00  Lunch

14:45  The role of transnational clusters to economic convergence and economic growth - Best practices

Moderator: Grigoris Zarotiadis, Professor Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences of Thessaloniki, President of the Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region (ASECU)

  • Dainis Turlais, Member of the Committee of the Regions
  • Mihai Manoliu, President of CNPR, National Confederation of Employers of Romania; Professor Polytechnic University of Bucharest
  • Giacomo Copani, Engineer, AFIL (Lombardy Intelligent Factory Association - Italy)


16:00  Key challenges and priorities of macro-regional strategies-Towards more innovative technologies, economic development, green economy and connectivity

Moderator: Nicolas Moussiopoulos, Professor, Aristotle University fo Thessaloniki, Greece

  • Roland Mayer-Frei, Policy Officer, DG REGIO, European Commission
  • Midhat Džemić , EU Funds National Coordinator (NC) for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Member of the Governing Board of the EUSAIR
  • Baiba Liepa, Project manager to support EU macro-regional strategies, Interact Programme, Finland


17:00  Conclusions - End of the Hearing

Interpretation: from RO/ES/EN/FR//IT into RO/ES/EN/IT