State of the Danube Region, Challenges and Strategy Development


Developing measures to reinvigorate the Danube Region Strategy based on intensive offline and online interactions with stakeholders in the Danube Region. 



In order to define new measures for the reinvigoration of the Danube region we lead discussions, and moderated focus groups.  These inputs were used to draft recommendations which were made available to a wider audience for validation through an online consultation on


Slovakia has a budding but working startup ecosystem made up of mostly private actors. The resources available through structural funds should be used to leverage existing structures and building framework and institutional conditions for increased networking, monitoring and understanding the evolution of the startup ecosystem. 


The project was organisated by a consortium of  ZEW (lead Bettina Müller), IAW and WIIW. cbased help to get feedback from stakeholders via focus groups and online consultation and to formulate policy recommendations based. The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Finance and Economics Baden‐Wuerttemberg on behalf of the European Commission


Many participants coming from catching-up countries count on outside help for mastering the change process ahead. It is clearly expected that the European layer — and particularly Austria, Bavaria and Baden‐Württemberg — leads in this catching‐up exercise as local governments and public administrations are not perceived as a stable factor in economic development. This is because strategies — if existent at all — are not being implemented, priorities are being changed frequently, responsibilities and responsible persons are moved around in unpredictable ways, there is corruption, short‐term policy‐making etc.

Changes in the administration and erratic moves are too often mirroring developments in the political sphere. This is not the sole responsibility of local administrations and not valid for all countries and subregions to the same extent but a reality in many regions.

For a functioning catching‐up process and for knitting closer ties within the Danube Region, the public sector must be in the driving seat — relying on efficient structures, well working processes and fast decisions

See the Online Consultation

We had a very lively online discussion that greatly helped to understand the views and motivations of stakeholders in the region. 

More resources

Here is the webpage of the Commission on the Danube Region Strategy.

Download the main report here.

Download the report with cbased´s involvement here

ZEW was leading the consortium including IAW and wiiw.