The Danube/Western Balkans Region has already achieved considerable success in the course of democratisation and economic sustainability. The political climate is not stable everywhere, however, with unemployment, exclusion and poverty posing major challenges. European integration is a specific goal of some countries, while EU standards provide guidance for others.

EU CONVERGENCE

The Austrian Development Agency supports individual countries in the region with specific reform projects for convergence with the EU. Training courses impart important know-how to civil servants from the region to be able to apply for EU funds and take part in EU cooperation programmes. A knowledge exchange programme run by the Central European Initiative (CEI) based in Trieste, for example, contributes to bringing the countries closer into line with European standards. Projects strengthen institutions, advance socio-economic development and seek to make improvements in agriculture, the environment and climate change.

MODERNISING EDUCATION

Improving the educational systems in the countries of the Danube Region/Western Balkans is a major goal of ADA. Higher education and vocational training are aligned with labour market needs and EU standards. Youth are trained in practice firms and linked into local business networks.

Regional activities aim to enhance cooperation among the countries in the Danube Region/Western Balkans, with the focus on solving regional problems. Synergies are actively harnessed with Austrian business and industry and civil society.