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“To seek Europe is to make it! Europe exists through its search for the infinite - and this is what I call adventure” Zygmunt Bauman, An adventure called Europe. Territorial Scenarios and Visions for Europe ET2050 Danube Region Transnational Regional Report Brussels, 19.03.2012.

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G l zolt n phd dr habil galz rkk hu

“To seek Europe is to make it! Europe exists through its search for the infinite - and this is what I call adventure”

Zygmunt Bauman, An adventure called Europe

Territorial Scenarios and Visions for EuropeET2050 Danube RegionTransnational Regional ReportBrussels, 19.03.2012.

Centre for Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences

GÁL, Zoltán (PHD, Dr habil.)[email protected]

Centre for Economic & Regional Studies,Hungarian Academy of Sciences

University of Kaposvár, Faculty of Economics


The danube region geographical endowments

The Danube region: Geographical endowments


The danube region countries covered by our research

The Danube Region (countries covered by our research)


European deadlock and the most fragmented transnational region

European deadlock and the most fragmented transnational region

One of the most fragmented, diverse and checkered territory of Europe

Characterised by a dominance of long-term disintegration processes (empires  multi-ethnic states - dissolution of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia & USSR)

Modernfragmentation has several dimensions:

8 EU and 7 non-EU members

2 Eurozone members

Non-members of Schengen zone (Romania and Bulgaria)

Accession country (Croatia) & EU candidates (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia)

Non-negotiating countries about EU accession (Moldova, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania)

The differences between sub-regions are larger than between countries.

Historical tensionsblock connections,and hinder the full integration of the EU member states.

Ethnically sensitive territorial protection (reactive values)


G l zolt n phd dr habil galz rkk hu

Modernization slope Changes in the per capita GDP in Hungary and in the CEE&SEE countries in comparison to the Western European average (12 counrtries =100%), 1870-2010 (International Geary-Khamis dollars, 1990)


Population and dependent economies

Population and dependent economies

Demographic trends: still younger but rapidly ageing:

Several economically advanced regions have ageing populations.

Shrinking population influences the expected development course, consumption needs, and even the use of the environment.

The high number and proportion of the Roma population (a specific feature of the Danube region)

Migration trends:

Internal: economic decline of factor supply via deskilling via internal, intra-regional (within the Danube region) and international migration.

External: large masses already appear on the external borders of the region from North Africa, the Middle East and the former USSR.

Economic trends: despite European catching-up processes, the large economic and territorial inequalities can not be eliminated in dependent economies due to constant capital scarcities

The sharp dividing line between German and Austrian, as well as post-socialist space persists

CEE economic differentiation: zones alongside the main corridors in CEE are heavily linked to FDI and to Western European industrial networks (automotive)

The unambiguous winners of the process are capital regions

More ambiguous mixture of FDI-driven reindustrialisation and the surviving domestic industrial capacities with rapid deindustrializing

Weak innovation:R&D investment relative to GDP funded by the business sector – except in Austria and the Czech Republic – was low


Development level by per capita gdp ppp of eu27 average

Development level by per capita GDP (PPP, % of EU27 average)

Note: The numerical value in the upper box shows the ranking of the individual region within the sample. The value in the lower box shows the change in the region’s ranking between 2000 and 2008.


G l zolt n phd dr habil galz rkk hu

The change of the relative development level of capital cities and capital regionsin the EU 1995–2009


Polarised development and networks urban transport energy network

Polarised development and networks (urban, transport & energy network)

External peripherization: CEE urban network traditionally oriented towards Western European urban system cyclical disintegrations increased peripherization within Europe

Internal peripherization: A polycentric macroregional urban system constituted by monocentric national urban systems and a fragmented rural network,

Danube a true axis of urbanisation: high concentration of population & MNCs

Clear divide between capital cities and secondary centers

The Balkans complex fragmentation on a national (ethnical) basis.

Proximity/distance still matters: delayed network development, capital-centric in comparison with WE, historically influenced redundancies (due to changing national boundaries )

Political centralism preferred capital city-based monocentric national networks with limited border permeability

Budapest-centric TENs, development- vis-á-vis environmentally motivated transport development (high share of highway investment ), hollowing-out of peripheries

EU energy policy influenced by: secure supply, sustainability, market liberalisation  diversification, inherent contradictions

South Stream, Nabucco and “Blue Stream” gas pipelines

Increased energy consumption reliance on nuclear and fossil-based generation

Renewable energy deployment motivated by EU targets


The european transport corridors trans european networks in the danube region

The European transport corridors (Trans European Networks) in the Danube region


Scenarios for the danube region

Scenarios for the Danube region

1 The scenario of successful integration

EU will overcome the current difficulties and the expansion will successfully continue

Within approx. 15 years Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania may also become the members of the European Union.

If the euro gets over the current difficulties, new countries from the regions are likely to join the euro-zone within 15 years

The poorest regions of the EU member states receive considerable support from the EU Structural Funds. (Only three arecurrently ineligible for funding as convergence regions)

Among the main challenges are to improve the north-south transport connections, increase border permeability (bridges) and improve the living conditions of Europe’s largest Roma community (8% of the total population)

2 The scenario of Central European cooperation

In this scenario, it is assumed that EU enlargement will progress more slowly than previously assumed.

It does not mean the disintegration of the European Union. Rather, more intra-regional cooperation (Visegrad countries) takes place, which partly compensates the slowing of EU enlargement.

In this regional collaboration scheme the importance of the Danube will increase for landlocked countries.

Energy security, the diversification of energy supply should also be achieved through cooperative within the region.

Cooperation among former Yugoslav member states may gain a new momentum.

Germany, Austria and Italy lead co-operation initiatives


Scenarios for the danube region1

Scenarios for the Danube region

3. ‘Worst case’ scenario, when the disputes and conflicts between the countries of the Danube region make cooperation and integration impossible

Debates between the countries themselves make any kind of joint action impossible. Of course, this scenario is extreme in the current form, but draws attention to the recently more or less hidden dangers threatening the Danube region.

Conflicts with neighbours related to the ethnic minorities

Conflicts arising from realised or even not accomplished projects

Debates over the delimitation of border (former Yugoslavian border zones)

Conflicts of disguised protectionism

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION


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