The fifth day and first day in Ulm, was dedicated to the political and economic challenges of the Danube Region and the potential further cooperation between Germany and other Danube Region Countries.1ec397cf3c1e01857bc662510c1fa47b
The day was held at the City Hall of Ulm, in the historic panel room. Stadt Ulm
The opening speech was delivered by Ivo Gönner, the President of the Council of Danube Cities and Regions and the Mayor of Ulm. He stressed the importance to stand together in difficult questions such as the increasing number of immigrants and work together on the many challenges such as infrastructure, flood protection, clean water and sewage treatment.
He moreover stressed, to not let loose on the EU Danube Strategy that has actually already started to work for the region as many projects have been implemented, many indicators show an improvement of the situation in the Danube Countries. It is important to be frank with the problems and shortcomings but is also important to be aware of the successes that have been accomplished.
Prof. Gerhard Mayer gave also a brief input on the Summer School and its role in the framework of Danube Cooperation. He said it is the initiatives such as the Danube Summer School or a potential Master Program on the Danube Region that addresses the core issue: capacities of administrations to apply and manage EU funded projects, education the young to stay in the region and not leave as so many right now.
The third speaker was the Dr. Thomas Kienle, CDU candidate for the Parliament of Baden-Württemberg. First of all he confirmed the impression of Gerhard Mayer that there is a consensus throughout the parties on the Danube Region EU-Strategy and the strong support of the state government of Baden-Württemberg. He further underlined the importance of the Danube as one major link from Ulm to the world that has to be further strengthened. His major concern was to make the Danube Region more modern, innovative and better connected, he sees vast room for improvement on different levels and welcomed the different initiatives
The fourth speaker was Martin Rivior, SPD Member of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, SPD deputy parliament leader and candidate to become the next Lord Mayer of Ulm, also stressed the importance of further following the path of the EU-Danube Strategy and its action plan. He sees major chances in further economic cooperation between Danube Countries and their SMEs. According to Mr Rivior there shall also be a general revision of the educational structure in many Danube Countries. Germany and Austria have made very good experience with models of Dual Education that could also contribute to further strengthen the labour market in Danube Countries.
The fifth speaker Ms Birgit Schäfer-Oelmayer, Green Party member of the city council and candidate for the position of the Lord Mayer of Ulm, raised the importance of education. She sees the only chance for a better development of a region that was hit hard by history and the latest economic demographic development in education. Education of all people, not just students but also early childhood education, primary school but also grown-ups. She draw a comparison to her own kids that had the opportunity to take part in many exchange program that, according to their own accounts, helped them to see the world differently. Ms Schäfer-Oelmayer wants to see those opportunities for all people in the Danube Region.
After the speaker have contributed with their inputs, four participants were asked to join the panel to discuss, what they consider to be the crucial issues in the Danube Region. After a vivid discussion the participants had lunch at the Ratskeller restaurant one of the sponsors of the Danube Summer School. We thank the Ratskeller for their support.