Research power along the Danube

Confluence of Sava river and Danube in Belgrade (c) Wikipedia


Between its source in the Black Forest and its mouth on the Black Sea, the Danube traverses 2,872 kilometres and shares shores with ten countries. The Danube Rectors' Conference (DRC) is a strong network of almost 70 universities in this region. Our aim is to improve higher education in teaching and research, and the advancement of our member universities by establishing sustainable contacts.


The DRC is Affiliate member of the European University Association (EUA)

News from our network

See below the latest news and browse in our archive.


For news from our Presidency, please click here.

Democracy Is (No!) Fiction | FIFUDEM

On January 13, 2020, the joint Jean Monnet project of the DRC with the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) was launched with the kick-off event on "Democracy Is (No!) Fiction: Developing Concepts and Strategies For an Inclusive and Participatory Europe".


The event was opened, among others, by the DRC President and Rector of the University of Belgrade Prof. Dr. Ivanka Popović, who emphasized the importance of education on the formation of a stable, sensitive civil society composed of critically-minded and socially engaged citizens.


On behalf of the DRC were also involved the DRC Vice-President and Rector of the Danube-University Krems Mag. Friedrich Faulhammer as well as the DRC Secretary General Mag. Sebastian Schäffer.


You can find the programme of the conference as well as further information here.


We are looking forward to future project steps! 

SAVE THE DATE: Democracy Is (No!) Fiction | Developing Concepts and Strategies For an Inclusive and Participatory Europe

13 January 2020

Haus der Europäischen Union, Vienna, Austria


Keynote speech: Ivan KRASTEV, Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia


As part of the IDM and DRC Jean Monnet Project “From Fictional to Functioning Democracy (FIFUDEM)”, the conference brings up the problem of fictional democracy - a new form of façade democracy that produces illiberal fictions of democracy. It aims at creating new visions for actively committed citizenship in a functioning democracy, embedded in a common and inclusive European Union. In order to achieve this, academics and researchers specialised in EU matters, as well as civil society activists, stakeholders and practitioners and EU representatives are invited to develop strategies of strengthening active and participatory citizenship and functioning political communication methodologies.


Confirmed attendees include amongst others Ivan KRASTEVGertraud ILLMEIER (Interkulturelles Zentrum, Vienna), Ulrike LUNACEK (Former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Vienna), Katarína MATHERNOVÁ (Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), European Commission, Brussels), Hedvig MORVAI (Erste Foundation, Vienna), Ivanka POPOVIC (Rector of the University of Belgrade, President of the Danube Rectors’ Conference), Wojciech PRZYBYLSKI (Editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw), Martin SELMAYR (Representative of the European Commission in Austria), Mihai Răzvan UNGUREANU (University of Bucharest, former Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister, Romania), Kristina VOKO (Country Director Albania at Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Tirana), Vuk VELEBIT (Political analyst ( & civic activist, Belgrade) and Erhard BUSEK (IDM).



You can find more information as well as the detailed programme here.

From Fictional to Functioning Democracy: Developing Concepts and Strategies for Inclusive and Participatory Europe (FIFUDEM)

The Danube Rectors' Conference Secretariat is operated by the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM). The IDM has received the Jean Monnet funding from the Erasmus+ Program of the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency for the project


"From Fictional to Functioning Democracy: Developing Concepts and Strategies for Inclusive and Participatory Europe (FIFUDEM)".


FIFUDEM will be conducted at the IDM in the period from 2019 to 2022 and within this framework, the DRC represents the main project partner as well as the main tool of dissemination of the project’s results.

The key points of this IDM project are 1) to scrutinize the contexts and causes of illiberal, respectively fictional democracy, 2) to develop concepts and strategies of strengthening liberal, respectively functioning democracy and its functioning political communication as well as active citizenship in an inclusive and participatory EU, and 3) to disseminate the project’s findings through awareness raising activities, events and publications for different targets groups on the local, regional, national, international and EU level. The rationale behind this proposal comes from the worrying erosion tendencies of liberal democracy as well as from the increase of populism, extremism and religious radicalisation in the Danube Region and Central Europe.


We will regularly update the project website!


DRC Annual Conference 2019

© University Politehnica of Bucharest

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Danube Rectors' Conference

took place at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania, on 6.-8. November 2019.






During the Annual Conference the Presidency and Permanent Committee Meeting and the General Assembly were held. 

Further documents (Agendas, Minutes) will be soon available on our DRC intranet (for members only).


We would like to thank all the participants for their highly valuable inputs and contributions to the discussions!

Many thanks also to the University Politehnica of Bucharest for hosting us for the whole event and for the perfect organization.

© University Politehnica of Bucharest, IDM

Danubius Award 2019

In the context of the DRC Annual Meeting 2019 the Danubius Award Ceremony took place on 7th November 2019. 

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Danubius Awards:


Danubius Award 2019

Prof. Ing. Jiří Balík, CSc., dr.h.c.

© University Politehnica of Bucharest

Danubius Mid-Career Award 2019

Dr. Silvija Krajter Ostoić

© University Politehnica of Bucharest

Danubius Young Scientist Award 2019


Bosnia and Herzegovina



Czech Republic



Republic of Moldova




Slovak Republic



Katharina Prochazka

Omer Kovčić

Kristiyan Lukanov

Kristina Mastanjević

Martin Klečacký

Tobias Spöri

Katalin Sulyok

Mariana Rosca

Ethem Mandic

Ana Bianca Pavel

Aleksandra Cvetanovic

Viktoria Miklosova

Gregor Harih

Tereziia Popovych

© University Politehnica of Bucharest

Congratulations to all the winners!

Thank you for your scientific contribution for the Danube Region and we wish you all the best for your career!