Under the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the first meeting of the Strategy's National Coordinators took place on 16 May, bringing together for the first time delegations from all 14 EUSDR Member States and members of the Danube Youth Council (DYC).
One of the main priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is the involvement of young people and the strengthening of stakeholder participation in the Strategy. To this end, the meeting presented two major opportunities for involving young people in the Strategy: the Bled Youth Strategic Forum and the Popri Start-up Challenge. Young people are already represented in the Strategy through the Danube Youth Council. The discussion focused on the draft guidelines for strengthening stakeholder involvement. These set out twelve recommendations to raise the profile of the Strategy, improve funding opportunities and increase stakeholder involvement. The guidelines, prepared by the Slovenian Presidency, are an important contribution by Slovenia to the future implementation of the Strategy.
National Coordinators discussed the Commission's 2022 Report on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies. The Slovenian Presidency briefed the meeting on the preparations for the 12th EUSDR Annual Forum, which will take place in October 2023, and also informed the coordinators about the cooperation between the Trio Presidencies of Macro-Regional Strategies and the results of the meeting of Priority Area Coordinators. Plans for financing the implementation of the strategy and concrete steps to better involve stakeholders in priority areas were also presented. The Danube Strategy Point gave an update on its current activities in the areas of communication, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation.
The activities of the Slovenian Presidency continued with a two-day thematic conference entitled "Towards Knowledge-driven Society and Professions of the Future", organised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Brdo pri Kranju on 17 and 18 May. Bringing together experts, educational institutions, young people and policymakers from across Europe to discuss the role of knowledge in today's rapidly changing society, the event is an important contribution to the Slovenian EUSDR Presidency.