"In Ulm, Germany, representatives of states on the banks of the Danube and the European Commission are conducting a series of transnational debates with a view to finalizing the details of a European Danube Strategy," reports România liberă. Outlined in early 2007, at a time when Romania and Bulgaria were joining the European Union, the Danube Strategy aims to promote three types of development in regions traversed by the river —most notably Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria — the interconnection of energy, communication and transport networks, the improvement of shipping conditions and the protection of the environment, and common flood defences. The project "will solely be financed from funding that has already been allocated to individual countries by the European Commission," warns the Bucharest daily. Austria and Romania, who instigated the project "were inspired by the Baltic sea macro-regional initiative".