Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, and Commissioner for Regional policy, Corina Creţu, are attending the 7th annual forum of the Danube macro-regional strategy tomorrow in Sofia.

This year’s theme is tourism, and how it supports economic growth and territorial cohesion. Ministers in charge of Tourism from the Danube region will adopt a joint statement outlining their intention to enhance their cooperation in the tourism and culture sectors.

Commissioner Navracsicsalso responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: “The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage puts a spotlight on the important links between cultural heritage, tourism and economic growth. More than 300,000 people are directly employed in the European cultural heritage sector, and around 7.8 million European jobs are indirectly linked to it. Yet, whilst tourism can provide jobs and boost growth, we must take steps to ensure that it is sustainable, not least in the Danube region.” 

Commissioner Creţu said: “The tourism potential of the Danube region is huge and sometimes remains untapped. This year we will discuss how to fully seize the opportunities offered by the exceptional natural and cultural heritage of the region to create growth and jobs for its 112 million inhabitants.” 

In order to encourage people from all backgrounds to explore cultural heritage initiatives supported by the EU, the Joint Research Centre has developed a Story Map focused on the Danube Region. The Danube Strategy is one of the four macro-regional strategies. Launched in April 2011, it gathers nine EU countries (Austria, Croatia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria) and five non-EU countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine).

 In Sofia, the 2018 European Capital of Sport, Commissioner Navracsics will hand out the #BeActive Awards, which reward the best initiatives to promote sport across Europe. During the #BeActive Awards Gala, part of the European Week of Sport, the winners in the following three categories will be announced: “Education, “Workplace” and “Local Hero”, which rewards strong personal commitment to promoting sport and physical activity in local communities.