Joint Statement of Ministries responsible for Research and Innovation

The Ministers responsible for Research and Innovation of the participating countries of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region met on 3 November 2016 on the occasion of the 5th Annual Forum of the EUSDR which took place in Bratislava.

The Ministries expressed their commitment to continue providing political support to the Research and Innovation activities carried out at national and regional level, with a specific focus on the macro-regional and transnational level. It was agreed to reinforce the alignment of funding from all relevant sources, to develop and support existing funding coordination mechanisms, enhance international cooperation, promote investment in human capital, minimize brain drain while ensuring brain circulation, strive to bridge the innovation divide and promote smart specialisation strategies.

It was acknowledged that the support to Research and Innovation from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) has become a priority in a number of countries and these efforts should continue throughout the current ESIF period 2014-2020. In this context it was emphasized that relevant legislation lays down the obligation for the Operational Programmes to contribute towards the implementation of macro-regional strategies, wherever applicable. Nevertheless, it is necessary to implement this objective and continue searching for possibilities to fund Research and Innovation activities from ESIF and other sources. In this respect, the Danube Transnational Programme with its prior concern to develop and test new approaches in order to meet actual challenges represents an important, but not the only instrument for the EUSDR.

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