Macro-regional cooperation is part of the process of strengthening democracy in the EU, and of strengthening bottom-up initiatives. Such cooperation is a positive catalyst, defending and complementing the EU's fundamental values. This is one of the conclusions from the conference on the "Role and significance of the Black Sea region and its connection with the Danube Strategy". The conference took place on 14 and 15 June in Albena, Bulgaria.
The participants focused on the role and significance of the Black Sea region and the Danube Strategy, as well as possible new types of cooperation between the Black Sea region and the Danube region. There was a specific focus on cooperation in the field of tourism covering issues such as training programmes, non-traditional forms of tourism and the sustainable development of tourism infrastructure.
The exchange of good practices is important and beneficial for all of the countries involved. The best practices as regards developing the marketing and promotion of regional projects and environmentally friendly new tourist destinations will help in implementing the Danube Strategy in future. The participants also underlined the potential of small, family and traditional businesses and their importance for boosting development and economic growth.
The participants stressed the importance of an integrated approach, which is particularly beneficial in policy areas such as tourism, the environment, transport and security. Such an approach generates interactions and synergies and allows innovative joint projects to develop.
The conference welcomed the proposals from local authority representatives for a joint initiative among the municipalities from the Northern Black Sea region and the Danube region from Bulgaria and Romania aimed at drawing up joint project proposals in the framework of the future cross-border operational programme between the two countries in the field of tourism, energy and infrastructure.
The event was co-organised by the Bulgarian Industrial Association, in cooperation with the Association of the Organisations of Bulgarian Employers, and the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), under the aegis of the minister for the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union Lilyana Pavlova.