Danube Conference 2021 “Shrinking Spaces – Growing Responsibilities”

November 10, 2021
10:00 - 14:30 CEST/CET

Under the patronage of ARGE Donauländer / Working Community of the Danube Regions

Shrinking Spaces – Growing Responsibilities

Macro-regional approaches to tackle current transformations in the Danube Region

We are observing a phenomenon that is not new but more visible than ever before: Spaces of civil society organizations (CSO), independent media and academics are shrinking. In addition to the fight against COVID-19 and the recovery from the related health and economic crises, the countries of the Danube Region face severe structural upheavals re-shaping media landscapes, the civic sector affecting also Higher Education. Be it the downgrading in international rankings on press freedom and corruption or the disputed privatization of universities – no disinformation attempts can mantle the fact that democratic fundaments are perishing, alerting neighbors and urging regional actors to act. Since its endorsement in 2011 various actors of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) have been working on connecting the countries of the Danube Basin to tackle ecological, transport and socio-economic needs. What has been learned within a decade of macro-regional cooperation? How do cross-regional approaches contribute to the recovery from the pandemic? Which role will they play in driving the imminent Green Transformation in Europe and how can the benefits of cooperation be communicated more effectively?

On the occasion of 10 years EUSDR we cordially invite you to join our debate on the future of macro-regional cooperation. Discuss with experts and practitioners the growing responsibilities for regional actors to tackle shrinking spaces. Together we will identify fields of action in the Danube Region!

Date: 10 November 2021

Online event

Language: English


Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM),

University for Continuing Education Krems (Danube University)

Cooperation partners:

BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna,

Europa Forum Wachau IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems

Under the patronage of ARGE Donauländer / Working Community of the Danube Regions

With the kind support of Federal State of Lower Austria


10.00 Welcome addresses

Video Message: Dr. Martin EICHTINGER, Provincial Counsellor, Federal Government of Lower Austria

Mag. Friedrich FAULHAMMER, Rector of the University for Continuing Education Krems (UWK)

Dr. Erhard BUSEK, Chairman of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM)

10.30 Panel 1: In prosperity we trust? Communicating and fostering macro-regional approaches in the Danube Region

  1. E. Ambassador Emil HUREZEANU, Romanian Embassy in Austria

Dr. Harald STRANZL, Ambassador/National Coordinator EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria

Mag.a Ulrike RAUCH-KESCHMANN, Head of the Directorate-General V “Tourism and Regional Policy”, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Austria

Mag.a Martina HARTL, Deputy Head of Unit for International Research Cooperation, Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Austria

Dr. Robert LICHTNER, Coordinator, Danube Strategy Point | EUSDR

Dr. Simon ORTNER, Head of the Department for International and European Affairs, Federal State of Lower Austria, Secretary General, Working Community of the Danube Regions / ARGE Donauländer

Video Message: Aleksandar SOFIĆ, Provincial Secretary for Regional Development, Inter-Regional Cooperation and Local Self-government, Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia

Moderation: Mag. Sebastian Schäffer, MA, Managing Director, IDM

12.00   Lunch break with a cultural input by Andrea Nikolić, Violin

13.00   Panel 2: The Future of Higher Education: Shrinking autonomy or growing opportunities?

Prof. Dr.in Snježana PRIJIĆ-SAMARŽIJA, Rector of the University of Rijeka

Prof. Dr. Peter PARYCEK, Vice Rector for Educational Affairs/Academic Continuing Education and Digital Transformation (CDO) of the University for Continuing Education Krems (UWK)

Prof. Dr. Ferenc HUDECZ, Full Member of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Former Head of the Research Group of Peptide Chemistry, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, DRC Honorary President

Dr.in Laura WIESBÖCK, Social Scientist, Danubius Young Scientist Award Winner 2020

Moderation: Mag.a (FH) Daniela NEUBACHER, MA, Research Associate, IDM

14.30   Closing remarks by Rector Friedrich FAULHAMMER (UWK) and Sebastian SCHÄFFER (IDM)

  • Beginn: Mittwoch, 10. November 2021, 10:00 Uhr
  • Ende: Mittwoch, 11. November 2020, 14:30 Uhr
  • Ort: Livestream
  • Auskunft: Mag. (FH) Daniela Apaydin, MA
  • Auskunft E-Mail: d.neubacher@idm.at
  • Anmeldung: Über Zoom erforderlich