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• Abstract EU policies for sustainable, integrated development aiming at territorial disparity elimination are responsible for having devised strategies covering landmark territories on the European continent. Alongside the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the Program for the Danube Region Strategy is the most ambitious project with an important impact on Europe’s macro-regional development. It connects differently developed regions and is intended to accurately pinpoint aspects related to economic growth and spatial cohesion. A local approach is therefore necessary considering the distinctive features. Against this background, the Braila-Galati Urban System aims to gain the special role of connector between EU and non EU and the Black Sea regions as well as to develop and improve the competitive profile of the area within a shared integrated development program. • Key words Conurbation, Urban System, Sustainable Urban Development, Cooperation, Cohesion, Competitiveness, Convergence • Introduction The municipalities of Braila and Galati are port-cities lying along the inferior course of the fluvio-maritime Danube, which make up the second largest urban built-up area in the country (over 700,000 inhabitants) and are the only institutionalized Urban System in Romania (Law no. 351/2001, sanctioning the 4th Section, Localities network, of The Spatial Planning of the National Territory – SPNT). These two cities, together with the municipality of Constanta, make up the most important cities in the South-Eastern Development Region, holding a leading role for the economic growth of the area comprised between the Danube and the Black Sea – true Gates to Eastern Europe. Their shared vocation/calling as port-cities places them within a never-ending economic competition, temporarily balanced but at all times susceptible to the fluctuations of global and national policies. Viewed from a regional, national and cross-border perspective and due to its geostrategic position, within the territory bordering the EU, the Braila-Galati Urban System can generate economic growth by capitalizing on its peripheral position and enhance the role of continental and intercontinental1 connecter and relay.
The Strategic Concept of Territorial Development, Romania 2030 – “Competitive, harmonious and prosperous Romania”
FYROM. This Danube cooperation process has also been assumed by the European Commission. which carries on the activities of SPSEE. They seem to think that if all actors. The Danube Cooperation Process. Moldova and Ukraine. As a matter of fact the Lower Danube regions are part of the Corridor VII of the PanEuropean Transport Corridor (Rhine – Main – Danube) uniting the North Sea and the Black Sea. The participants are the states located by the Danube.The Danube riparian cities and territories are given a great opportunity once the EU Strategy for the Danube Region aimed at the development of the economic potential and environmental improvement is launched. some of which aim at becoming EU members in the near or distant future. the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe (SPSEE). the South-Eastern Development Region represents the Romanian part of the Joint Black Sea Cooperation Program2. Austria. joined by the European Commission. the Regional Cooperation Council. are involved. Romania. and observer states (France. The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (resolution TA (2010)0008 for the adoption of the European Strategy for the Danube Region): Starting from the results yielded by a macro territorial analysis of the conditions along the Danube and thus drawing attention to the serious consequences concerning discontinuous development in this territory. including the civil society. Czech Republic. on May 27 th 2002 includes the following countries: Germany (Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria lands). the USA). a multi-level cooperation and strategic investments. Slovenia. Euro deputies request a macro regional approach which might inflict new dynamics. Eight of these countries are EU members while the others are involved in various EU cooperation undertakings. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on February 17th 2011 requesting clear material steps and an implementation schedule for the strategy3. Montenegro. Croatia. Romanian and Austrian authorities have taken the step to promote a Danube strategy at the EU meant to obtain the consent of both EU and non-EU countries located in along the Danube. Hungary. the strategy might yield a better coordination and funding of the EU co-financed projects in the neighboring regions. which mainly follows the pattern of the previously successful strategy of the Baltic Sea. Members of the European Parliament regard the EU Strategy for the Danube Region as an exceptional opportunity to foster transnational cooperation as well as to induce a sustainable cultural and economic development in Central and Eastern Europe to benefit the people living in the area. 2 • The Black Sea Joint Cooperation Programme 3 TA (2011) 0065 – The EP Resolution on February 17th 2011regarding implementation of EU Strategy for the Danube Region . Also. officially launched at Vienna. Slovakia. Serbia. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bulgaria. Russia.
ethnic and cultural diversity. natural. The Danube is an important waterway connecting the port of Constanta with industrial centers in Western Europe and the port of Rotterdam via the Rhine-Main-Danube Corridor. The interconnection of the region may be carried out by improving coordination related to infrastructure works. The Danube territory benefits from several advantages which may lead to its rapid development such as: geographical coordinates (Europe’s backbone. In order to reduce inconsistencies in the region. The Strategy stands as an exceptional opportunity for the EU to develop political and economic cooperation with the Balkans”. it is the second largest European river (2857 km long and approximately 5. the Strategy suggests three priorities: the development of a . • The Strategy includes an Action plan that will be supervised by the European Commission and periodically updated according to the economic and social evolution in the region.The Strategy may have a “significant contribution to prevailing over the old continent divisions and thus reaching the EU integration. plays an essential part in Europe. South-West axis). the Danube Region is inconsistent. preserving biodiversity. environmental risk management. improving transport and power systems. power and culture/tourism. fauna.000 Km² (the fifth part of the area covered by the EU) and counting up to 100 million inhabitants. 3) Increasing prosperity in the Danube Region Considering the aspect of prosperity. It is necessary for the Spatial Planning of the Danube Region to target a clearly defined area that might smooth the way for the enforcement of the objectives and priorities designed for that particular territory (in the case of Romania. the relevant competent authorities should be in charge. sharing of experience regarding clean energy and promoting culture and tourism in the region. landscapes and water and soil quality. covering an approximate surface of 800. The Commission recommended that the decision making process should lie with the appropriate authorities and as for the implementation of the strategy for the Danube Region. • The Danube Region The Danube Macro Region. significant water and power resources. a strong cooperation at all levels of government is advisable. protected or unique natural areas). 2) Preservation of the environment in the Danube Region The strategy focuses on three main priorities aimed at the preservation of biodiversity and protection of the inhabitants’ life quality: restoring and maintaining water quality. the eligible counties are the riparian ones (NUTS 3) as well as Bucharest. Also.600 m³/sec discharge – when reaching Romania). the capital city). The Plan stands on 4 “pillars” (main axes) and 11 foreground domains: 1) Interconnection of the Danube Region The objective consists in improving the Danube Region connectivity with the rest of Europe in three foreground domains: transport. a complex natural habitat (flora.
The Cohesion Fund (CF). pre-accession and neighboring programs. It is imperative that the European programs for territorial cooperation be taken advantage of. no funding supplements. investments in human resources (people and skills). support for business competitiveness.The Pre-accession Instrument (IPA). . . The Commission will consult with the Group concerning the amendments to the Strategy and Action Plan. it is necessary for the Danube region to be turned into a safe living area and for its EU integration to be consolidated.The European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF).society based on knowledge through research. cooperation for security and crime prevention. FOREGROUND DOMAIN COUNTRIES . c) For policy coordination reasons the Commission will be assisted by a Group of top level representatives of each member state (priority domains coordinators). b) For implementation reasons the European Commission will assist and support any necessary undertakings and will make sure that the funds made available are used accordingly. Almost half of the programs for 2007-2013 concern the Danube Region (41 programs): transnational. The Commission will be assisted by the national contact points. regional and European funding. . (2007-2013). including EU structural and cohesion funds. 4) Consolidation of the Danube Region In order to foster prosperity and sustainable economic growth in the area. .The European Neighboring Policy Instrument (ENPI). . • Financial. cross-border cooperation. reports and supervision.The Regional Development European Fund (RDEF). the Strategy for the Danube Region observes the principles of the three ”Nos”: no new institutions.The EU Solidarity Fund. a) Financial resources of the Strategy will be found in national. no legislative framework changes. . implementation and governing sources Following in the footsteps of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea. . The Group will be responsible for political orientation and prioritizing.The FP 7 Programs for Research and Technological Development. . that is: . The responsibility to enforce the Strategy falls on the countries involved which will actively engage all national. education and information technology. This “pillar” consists in two priorities leading to consolidation of the region: improvement of institutional capacity and cooperation. regional or other competent authorities.The LIVE+ Instrument for Environment and Natural Preservation Programs.Funds provided by international financial institutions: BEI< BERD. The 11 foreground domains within the Strategy are the following: Run. .The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). cross-border.
efficiency. 9.no. 10. Mobility and inter mobility improvement: a) Interior waterways. 2. b) Railways. education and IT) Support for business competitiveness Investments in human resources and skill acquisition Improvement of institutional capacity and cooperation Cooperation for security and crime prevention Austria and Romania Slovenia and Serbia Hungary. 5. contributing to the elimination of barriers and political and administrative deficiencies. . as it leads to a better synchronization of policies and funds designed for the region. – the optional cooperation framework e. 3. 11. This approach covers the whole Danube Region. The preferred geographical option extends the Danube Region to the entire functional geographic region. the wide adhesion regarding field strategy as well as action feasibility. . – the geographical option e.1. as it fosters the enforcement of clear measures due to the coordinating part the Commission plays. 6. Czech Republic Bulgaria Romania Hungary Slovakia Hungary Romania Germany (Bavaria) Croatia Slovakia Serbia Germany (BadenWurttemberg) Croatia Austria Moldova Austria (Vienna) Slovenia Germany Bulgaria d)Reporting and assessment are carried out by the commission assisted by the foreground domain coordinators.effectiveness. roads and airways. e.2. -political acceptance as it makes it possible for all parties to be consistent with the strategy due to the fact that it uses the existing funds. Two aspects are underscored: e. 7.1. 1. e) Policy options. The cooperation option refers to: . institutions and laws and reaches for a worldwide distribution. landscapes and water and soil quality Development of a knowledge-based society (research.2. Support for sustainable power Promotion of culture and tourism and direct human interaction Restoration and maintenance of water quality Environmental risk management Preservation of biodiversity. 4. 8.
along the Danube. sewerage and cleaning. communication and urbanistic infrastructure. . displaying distinctive features in terms of geographic territory.The population dynamics show a considerable demographic decline and migration to the rural area. ageing of the population and low birth rate. facility. current potential and development. .Inappropriate management of protected natural and man-made areas and sites. . the following aspects stand out concerning the regional potential.Insufficient transport. the Danube Region. Romania.The unemployment rate does not exceed the country’s average. .A weak urban network. The urban system of Braila. Gaining the status of SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT AREA may reinstate Braila-Galati as the top competitive European regions by means of several actions and measures taken bay all the factors involved: the EU. attractiveness and prosperity. • The Urban System of Braila-Galati Both investments and development could be enhanced through cooperation and profitable use of resources and opportunities the two cities and the surrounding areas benefit from. It is therefore imperative that an integrated and sustainable development approach should be applied so as to ensure competitiveness.Poor education. insufficient demand and resource exploitation.Galati in the third section plays an important role in balancing the European Urban and economic growth Network in Eastern Europe. desertification.Insufficient touristic exploitation of the Danube region. current conditions and socioeconomic situation: . touristic and environmental infrastructure) as well as underfunding of projects. water quality.Statistical data regarding overall development of the Danube Region show a violent contrast among various areas with a visible disparity between the highly developed west and the underdeveloped central and eastern areas.Vulnerability of the Danube River and the riparian areas due to the environmental conditions (floods. irrigation. communication. Braila and Galati could well become the second most competitive urban system in Romania besides Bucharest and may be entitled to claim a major development center throughout the next EU programming period 2013-2030. Throughout the country. wanting educational infrastructure and healthcare. . . The four Romanian Danube sections are: I) Bazias – Drobeta Turnu Severin (Danube Gorge) II) Drobeta Turnu Severin – Calarasi III) Calarasi – Tulcea IV) Tulcea – the Black Sea (the Danube Delta) and the Danube-Black Sea Channel. hydro energetic. .Lack of major projects (transport. . waste management). the South-Eastern Development Region .
000 inhabitants (according to the 2002 census). an area of 1. . starting from its source and up to its mouth but the political interests of the time hindered it). Moldova).Intersection of the historic Romanian provinces (Muntenia. Galati and Tulcea). the Urban System Braila-Galati is listed among the major localities.The traditional North-South and West-East trade axes cross paths (the Baltic Sea. highly productive agricultural region.013 ha and over 752. . From a territorial perspective the geostrategic position along the Danube. . As for the Spatial Planning policies.308. .the Black Sea – the Mediterranean) and (Transilvania-Dobrogea-Ukraine). on the border between Romania and EU stands out: . The associative structure of the Urban System of Braila and Galati The administrative range of the Urban System of Braila and Galati (according to the articles of association) . lending itself to a balanced polycentric development of the national territory. the Republic of Moldova (the regions of Cahul and Cantemir) and Ukraine (the region of Odessa.Central position within the SE region.The Pan-European Transport Corridor VII crosses Romania as the backbone of the European region.Outstanding geographic diversity with the dominance of water. Dobrogea.Unique protected areas of international value.Equal distances to the capital cities of the neighboring counties (approximately 100 km) and 225 km away from Bucharest and Constanta. Their prosperity as port cities throughout the centuries has given them a significant role in Europe and along the Danube: Braila was the headquarters of the European cereal exchange and Galati was the place where the European Danube Commission was set up in 1856. . The geographical positions of both Braila and Galati are perfectly symmetrical one from the other and from the historic Romanian regions.An active.aiming to diminish regional disparities and to set up a strong economic landmark in the border areas linking the non EU region. Unfortunately they have lost these advantages due to the global and European geopolitical evolution (it was intended for the Danube to become a free waterway ever since then. .Intersection of the poverty regions which may establish it as the source of development. political and legal nature. . The arguments supporting the development of the Urban System of Braila-Galati are of territorial. .The border position between Romania and the EU bestows greater importance due to the cross-border and connecting role played in Europe. the non EU. eastern and buffer zone between the Carpathian Arch and the Black Sea. historic.the region of Reni) and covers 64 administrative entities. economic. . The Urban System Braila-Galati includes territories from 3 neighboring countries: Romania (the counties of Braila.
Map key/legend Braila Galati Tulcea Cahul and Cantemir districts The Region of Odessa (district if Reni) The radius of the urban system The radius of peri urban influence The structural elements of the territory are defined by the position of the municipalities of Braila and Galati (20 km away from each other) along the Danube. the direction of the linking .
radius=100 km A Highway E European road DN National road • The supraterritorial and cross-border context . existing roads and railways but also the contour of the newly suggested major access roads and the intermodal transport hub. The functional outline of relations and field lines of the Urban System of Braila and Galati Map key Immediate sphere of influence.routes: the Danube. radius= 50km Extended sphere of influence.
Future projections involve improvement of jobs through development of occupational areas and housing structures that could cover the entire population of the urban system of BrailaGalati which may reach 1 million inhabitants and development of a transport hub north of Braila with multiple functions (roads. the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. operate and store information. The urban system of Braila-Galati may become an operational center making it possible to supervise. airport. supra-regional.Romania-Ukraine. The field lines of the development of the Urban System of Braila and Galati are mainly focused on the area comprised between them covering a surface of approximately 500 km² where extensive investments are projected for strategic elements of the system. - Strategic development elements of the Urban System of Braila and Galati . . continental and cross. political and administrative relevance: sub-regional.border: Regional – South-Eastern region.Continental: .The infrastructure and trans-European transport connections. National – Romanian territories. monitor the region and ordinary and extreme situations. . the Danube Region. . Transnational – the program regions – the areas included in the European territorial cooperation programs for 2007-2013: -South-Eastern Europe (SEE) . make decisions. .Cross-border context – in the Lower Danube Euro-region and the Joint Operational Program Black Sea Basin 2007-2013.The Danube Basin.The Pan-European transport corridor network. . regional. “Lower Danube” euro-region. national. waterways.Moldova .The Balkan – Egean space. railways.The cross-border area – Lower Danube Euro-region . The hypothesis that a development project can be based on is that the Urban System of Braila and Galati should become the Gate to the East of the European Union and the Continental Logistic Platform.The supraterritorial context the Urban System of Braila Galati is located in is defined on several levels of geographic. the Black Sea basin. transnational. goods and passengers).The Carpathian – Pontic – Scythian-Caucasian space.The Black Sea (CBC) .
Making the area Braila-Galati reachable.Consolidating the role as rural landmarks of certain rural localities developing as polarization centers. . . .Redefining the locality network.Complex hydro technical improvements. .Making far-off territories reachable by developing transport infrastructure.The main conditions to be met for these visionary constituents to come true refer to a tireless activity for the purpose of acquiring a complex planning of the territory: . .
infrastructure projects scheduled to be implemented.- - Setting up facilities and service networks revolving around major regional and national facilities. On the other hand there are several opportunities advocating for the partnership to be prepared and the development of the Urban System of Braila and Galati to be implemented: the potential for development and significant resources for the local and national economy. . institutional and administrative factors needed in order to attain the established objectives have to meet the following requirements: Absorbance of activities that will make it possible for 800 000 inhabitants to be polarized until 2030. Capitalizing on the geostrategic position by setting up a logistic platform and activities related to modal and intermodal transport. Setting up research. 4 PATZ Periurban Braila. 2011. Creation of a complex institutional framework on several levels enforcing decisions and cooperation4. UAIUM. Devising a coherent administrative system. the economic and financial crisis. The relevant public and private factors are setting up formal and informal partnerships concerning economic development and territorial partnerships. demographic decline and ageing of the population. Setting up the relevant legislative framework for the Braila-Galati-Tulcea partnership. innovation and micro production centers connected with the production units all throughout the urban system.Devising Strategies. The undertakings previously listed require an Action Plan which should observe the following structure: .Synchronizing the development plans of the three partners and the relevant factors for the Braila-Galati-Tulcea system. relevant documents for the institutionalization and functioning of the Braila-Galati-Tulcea partnership. On the one hand attention must be given to traditional rivalry between the two cities. Catalin Sarbu . Organizational. national and European context yields both challenges and opportunities in the approach and implementation of peri urban and associative development of the Urban System of Braila and Galati. Studies. the inevitable planning of the next stage of the European programs. problems arising in the territory ensuring the operations required by the partnership between Braila and Galati.Setting up the alliance of Braila-Galati-Tulcea. The general. . reforms concerning Romania’s administrative structure with all the shifts it entails. These features are consistent with the major objectives related to the infrastructure recommended for the Danube Strategy. funding programs from ongoing European funds.
being actively involved in the territorial development on a macro regional level.- - Preparing relevant alliances to support the Braila-Galati-Tulcea system on a local. In addition. national. The connection between the development of the Urban System of Braila and Galati and the Danube Strategy as a whole resides in the role that the local authorities have assumed on all decision making levels with the purpose of creating a developed region along the Danube and on the EU border acting as a foundation for the economic relations between the East and the West on the one hand and the North and the South of the continent. • Conclusions The Strategy for the Danube Region and the directions it follows stand out due to the integrated sustainable development principles resorted to when approaching local strategies. Prioritizing project and devising applications for the current program period. The layout and objectification of the competitive profile of the Urban System of Braila and Galati and its place among the relevant cities and territories along the Danube – as a counterpoint to the great riparian cities. observing the rules of a healthy living and natural environment aimed at attaining an improved territorial cohesion by reducing disparities among European regions. Phd candidate . Costel Dragan. It is this context that also includes the issue of the Urban System of Braila and Galati as part of the Strategy for the entire Region. Architect. They find their rightful place in the general cooperation and extended collaboration policy framework of the EU and member as well as third-party states in the European community space or outside it. international level. Preparing the necessary strategic documents. especially the Danube capital cities-will list the Lower Danube among the top areas in terms of European economic potential and will greatly reduce the disparities in regional development. the foundation is laid for a tough economic competition. approval of the key projects and promoting them via the relevant alliances and partnerships to the authorities granting funds in the EU for the next funding period.
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