The European Union holds the 2017 Presidency of the ICPDR. President Gammeltoft chaired the meeting which was held in the prestigious room where the European Commission meets regularly.
Peter Gammeltoft also used the opportunity to reaffirm the priorities of the EU Presidency of the ICPDR:
- Better coordination with different sectors (e.g. navigation, agriculture, hydropower) and integration of the DRBMP implementation into other policy areas;
- Support to non-EU Member States to use available funding in the most efficient way, speeding up measure implementation process, support investment and capacity building needs;
- Increasing the visibility of the ICPDR on EU level to gain increased attention outside the water community;
The priorities also include the development of an ICPDR Guidance on sustainable agriculture and the pilot activities on Mixed Environment Transport External Expert Team (METEET). The Directorate General for Environment (DG ENV) of the EU will organize a TAIEX workshop to inform the countries about EU funding opportunities. Sturgeon conservation is another important topic which received strong support from DG ENV Director General Mr. Daniel Calleja Crespo during the morning session.
The presidency of the European Union also brought an extraordinary visibility to the 2017 basin-wide celebrations of Danube Day on 29 June. Almost 260,000 individuals were reached via a very active social media campaign over Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #DanubeDay.
The focussed and lively discussions demonstrated once again how well cooperation mechanisms within the ICPDR work between contracting parties of the ICPDR.
The ICPDR will convene its 20th Ordinary Meeting on 12-13 December 2017 in Vienna.
Source and photo: ICPDR