Bilingual education was not foreseen as part of the initial purpose of the Bilingual Primary School in Prosenjakovci, but resulted directly from a request by Hungarian-speaking citizens living in this ethnically mixed area for primary education for their children, as they perceived the system to be of higher quality. Even though Slovenian schools have no obligation to admit pupils from Hungary living outside Slovenia, the bilingual school of Morasvke Toplice has been offering this opportunity on a voluntary basis.
The report elaborates on the cross-border collaboration in the field of health between Lower Austria and Czechia, and the beginning of collaboration with Slovakia. It focuses on the gradual provision of outpatient care and the exchange of medical expertise taking place in three border regions; documents the first largescale effort to develop cross-border cooperation on health care between a long-standing and new European Union Member States; and provides information on how and why cross-border care started, mechanisms used to put it in place, key stakeholders and the lessons learned, including challenges and enabling factors.
A report released on the 14th July with the title: “EU Border Regions: Living labs of European integration” gives an overview of the issues faced by cross-border regions and taking stock of the progress made over the last few years; spells out future developments, explaining how initiatives under the new 7-year EU budget can be used to stimulate the recovery of border areas, furthermore, it highlights the need to step up cross-border cooperation on all fronts to make these regions more resilient and help them harness their potential.
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, represented by the Portuguese Presidency, signed the regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (NDICI-Global Europe). The regulation entered into force on 14 June 2021. NDICI-Global Europe is the main financial instrument for the EU’s external action, and is of ever greater importance in the light of the heavy economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.
Lower administrative burdens for cross-border traffic on the Danube – Hungary, Croatia and Serbia introduce harmonised border control forms
In the last years a joint Working Group of Priority Areas 1a (Inland Waterways) and 11 (Security) of the EU’s Danube Region Strategy developed a set of so-called Danube Navigation Standard Forms (DAVID). Using the expertise of stakeholders from the shipping sector and control authorities, the data fields of three often used forms (arrival and departure forms, crew lists and passenger lists) were harmonised in an international effort. In the first phase Hungary, Croatia and Serbia introduced the DAVID forms in control procedures thereby replacing the national forms applied until then. Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova – the four other Danube riparian states – intend to follow suit until the end of 2021 latest.
The report “EUSAIR facilitating the enlargement process of the Western Balkans”, written by OBC Transeuropa and CeSPI and published by the European Commission, examines the complementarities between the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian macro-region (EUSAIR) and the enlargement process to the Western Balkan countries participating in the EUSAIR. It analyses the EUSAIR and the relevant EU documents, and explores the potential contribution of the EUSAIR to the WB integration process with a series of 37 in-depth interviews. Finally, it makes a number of policy recommendations in this field.
A workshop has been organised on July 9th 2021 on skill development through vocational education and training, and higher education as a key to fostering blue jobs for the environmental sustainability and boosting technological innovation in the Adriatic-Ionian Region.
“Healthy oceans are a precondition for a thriving blue economy. Pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, coupled with the effects of the climate crisis, all threaten the rich marine biodiversity that the blue economy depends on. We must change track and develop a sustainable blue economy where environmental protection and economic activities go hand in hand.” (Frans Timmermans)
EUSDR – Danube Region Strategy is the name of the application that can be downloaded from Google Play or AppStore for mobile devices. It provides an animated map of the EUSDR region, including a few details about each country.
On July 23rd, the scope of the 𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐄𝐱𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 (𝐆𝐁𝐄𝐑) has been extended by the European Commission. This step will allow Member States to implement certain aid measures without prior Commission scrutiny.