Opening remarks by President von der Leyen at the International Conference of the New European Bauhaus on the Danube, via video message

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's a pleasure to open this International Conference of the New European Bauhaus on the Danube. I regret that I can't be with you in person. But I can imagine the energy and enthusiasm in the room. I experienced it during the New European Bauhaus Festival in Brussels some weeks ago. Where thousands of people came together to imagine a better tomorrow. And I know how energising this community is.

With the New European Bauhaus on the Danube, you are one of the frontrunners of our movement. Frontrunners because of your dedication and creativity. But also because of the special geographical situation on the ground: The Danube has always been a thread running through our continent, connecting communities and countries; cities and cultures. It links areas of great diversity, but also great inequality. Thriving cities and industrial heartlands, but also regions that risk falling behind.

You face challenges, but you also have great opportunities for positive change. Your region is a perfect place for implementing the European Green Deal with the help of the New European Bauhaus. Working on a sustainable, inclusive and beautiful future. A future that protects our planet and puts people at the center. I am impressed by your work on the ground. Because you do exactly what we need for a successful transformation:

Break silos, mobilise investments, share knowledge and learn from each other. You're building bridges between urban and rural innovators, local authorities, and the financial sector.

I am amazed by the broad range and creativity under the umbrella on the Bauhaus of the Danube. Your Travelling Academy is a perfect example for knowledge sharing and tailored support for communities. And I am convinced that your Green Investment Forums will be a game changer – mobilising private money for the transformation.

Access to investments, innovation and skills are also crucial elements for the success of the European Green Deal. Your activities at the local level mirror our efforts in Europe.Your contribution is so important for the transformation we all want to see. While in Brussels we cannot match your creativity and ingenuity, we can provide tools and resources.

I'm proud that we've supported the New European Bauhaus with over 250 million euros already – including also your project. And more will follow. From 2025 onwards, we will have a new New European Bauhaus Facility – a stable funding instrument. It will provide at least 120 million euros per year for research and innovation.  And we are aiming to mobilise the same amount for the roll-out on the ground.

To make our built environment more sustainable and circular we also launched the New European Bauhaus Academy. It will upskill workers, architects and other actors in the construction ecosystem. Sharing of expertise is one of the greatest strengths of our New European Bauhaus.

 A warm thank you to the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm for hosting today's event, and to all the partners of the New European Bauhaus on the Danube. I look forward to seeing how your ideas and innovations come to life. Because this is the Europe I believe in –  a Europe where individuals and communities from across borders and different walks of life come together. United in the goal to build the sustainable, beautiful, and inclusive future they want to see. I wish you an inspiring conference. You can count on our continued support.

Long live Europe.