18th DRC Summer School on Regional Cooperation 

16 July - 22 July 2023

"Transformation of post-war Europe: Challenging universities and research in the Danube Region?"


The 18th DRC Summer School on Regional Cooperation on "Transformation of post-war Europe: Challenging universities and research in the Danube Region?" was held in the beautiful city of Cluj-Napoca in Romania. The hosting institutions for this edition were Babeș-Bolyai University, the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, where the participants not only discussed the theme with experts, but also shared their knowledge from their own research fields.


 The main theme of the Summer School has been particularly deepened in four topics revolving around democracy, inclusion, digitalization, and European strategies in times of war. The interaction between the participants coming from 10 different countries and the lecturers created the perfect environment to broaden the frontiers of regional cooperation to young students, researchers and academics. 

The 18th DRC Summer School started at the Babeș-Bolyai University at the Faculty of European Studies for a warm welcome speech by Colin Braga, Vice-Rector of Babeș-Bolyai University, Daniel Silviu Mândru, Vice-Rector of Technical University and Andrei Daniel Mihalca, Vice-rector of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca.  


 Prof. Colin Braga                                 Prof. Daniel Silviu Mândru                   Prof. Andrei Daniel Mihalca          


The welcoming panel continued with Sebastian Schäffer, DRC Secretary General and Managing Director, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), Daniel Martínek, responsible for the organization of the Summer School and Zoltan Vörös, Assistant Professor of the University of Pécs. 


 The organizers: Sebastian Schäffer, Daniel Martínek, Zoltan Vörös


This edition was particular for it took place in 3 different locations, moving from Babeș-Bolyai University, to the Technical University, to the Centre of Biodiversity at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca.


Prof. Cristina Câmpian                         Prof. Andrei Daniel Mihalca

Babeș-Bolyai University                                            Technical University                                         Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine University


The lectures proposed by the experts and professors approached the four focus themes from different perspectives and opened up to discussions, actively engaging with the participants in Q&A sessions. 

The topics at the center of this edition of the Summer School were:

  • Democratic recovery in wartime Europe
  • Inclusion and diversity in times of war  
  • Digital is taking over – threat or opportunity? 
  • Towards European strategic autonomy 


During the workshop sessions the participants had the opportunity to present their diverse research topics, all in some way related to possible developments or improvements of the cooperation in the Danube Region. Some lighted debates were stimulated by each one of the presentations which touched on political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the European democracies and the current challenges they are facing. 

In this way, the participants not only had the opportunity to broaden their academic network but also to receive useful feedback to advance their research.




The cultural side of the Summer School also included the possibility to actively live the local and regional traditions in fun group activities. A more friendly environment resulted from the cultural programme allowing the participants to get to know each other better while experiencing the Transylvanian lifestyle, food and society.


Throughout the week guided tours of the city and the botanical garden were offered to the participants before heading to delicious traditional dinners in local restaurants. On the last day, the group participated in a field trip to Salina Turda, discovering the natural richness of Romania, and they finally gathered together for one last final session. 


Closing ceremony