Danube Governance Conference 2021


Danube Governance Conference 2021 - Towards European integration with the SDGs

28th of January 2021
Location: Online Conference

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About the Conference

The Danube Governance Conference: Towards European integration with the SDGs was the final event of the program Building Administrative Capacities in the Danube Region and Western Balkans (BACID), co-funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and implemented by the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns and KDZ Centre for Public Administration Research.

At this occasion we gathered stakeholders with whom we have been cooperating in the past years to discuss the topics identified as priorities in improving governance in the countries of the Region on the way to European integration and how the Sustainable Development Goals support this process. Besides ministries, local governments, NGOs and other organisations from the Western Balkans, the event brought together partners from public institutions and private organisations from the whole Danube Region, as well as representatives of the EU and international organisations that are supporting European integration and public administration reforms in the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova.

Our partners were invited to present their challenges and achievements and discuss possible solutions to be further developed through future collaborative activities.

Structure of the conference

  • Opening with the status of EU integration of the Western Balkan countries followed by a panel discussion on local government responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the Region.
  • Keynote on localizing and measuring the SDGs in the City of Riga.
  • Parallel Sessions with an inner circle of speakers from partner organisations discussing the given topic (participants were able to join in the discussion via chat or video).
  • Expo booths with presentations of organisations and BACID Fund projects.

In the afternoon breaks there was a chance for selected projects to be in the spotlight. In 30-minute slots BACID Fund grantees and other partners presented their projects live to the audience.

Results of the conference

We summarized the key learnings of the conference in our blog post.

Agenda and conference materials

Please download the full agenda here.

Opening of the conference

  • Welcome by Michael LUDWIG, Mayor of the city of Vienna and President of the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns (video message)

Virtual Panel Discussion on “Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and responses of local governments in the Danube Region”
Moderated by Thomas PROROK, KDZ

  • Lukas MANDL, Member of the European Parliament
  • Emanuil MANOLOV, President of NALAS (Presentation NALAS)
  • Damir MARJANOVIC, International Burch University Sarajevo and Member of the Parliament of the Canton Sarajevo
  • Stefano MARTA, OECD, Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division (Presentation OECD)

Keynote by Jurijs GRIZĀNS, Riga City Council

"Localizing and Measuring Sustainable Development Goals in Riga"

Presentation SDGs in Riga

Parallel Session 1 - Governance & Democracy
Moderated by Vedran DZIHIC, Austrian Institute for International Affairs

  • Sebastian SCHÄFFER, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe
  • Claudia SINGER, Danube Region Strategy PA10
  • Elton STAFA, NALAS

Parallel Session 2 - Climate adaptation and Smart Cities
Moderated by Ina HOMEIER, City of Vienna

  • Nikolas NEUBERT, Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Nermina SULJEVIC, City of Sarajevo
  • Dubravka ŽIVKOVIĆ, University of Kragujevac

Parallel Session 3 - Strengthening Participation and Civil Society
Moderated by Stefan LÜTGENAU, Foster Europe

  • Kelly-Jane BISHOP, Ximpulse Gmbh, Switzerland
  • Gentiana RAMADANI, Center for European Integration and Development
  • Ankica TODOROVIC, City of Bijeljina

Parallel Session 4 - Local Economic Development
Moderated by Mario HOLZNER, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies

  • Gerhard SABATHIEL, SA Consulting
  • Ana JANOSEV, Social Impact Award

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