3rd Joint Statement Meeting, 5-6 April, Vienna

The main subjects of this year’s Joint Statement Meeting will include progress in navigation and environmental protection with the focus on regional development; EU water management, together with environmental protection, will also be one of the topics discussed.

The initiative towards organising joint actions in navigation between Danube River Basin countries has been launched in 2007 by the ICPDR in cooperation with the Danube Commission and the International Sava Commission. The overall goal was to develop and commit to a “Joint Statement on Guiding Principles for the Development of Inland Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Danube River Basin”. This was achieved in autumn 2007.

The next step was the conclusion of the "Joint Statement on Inland Navigation and Environmental Sustainability in the Danube River Basin" in October 2007. In January 2009 and March 2010, the responsible government authorities and interest groups have met again in Budapest and Zagreb respectively, to discuss the progress achieved and how to improve the application of the Joint Statement in waterway projects.

Inland navigation can contribute to making transport more environmentally sustainable, particularly where it substitutes for road transport. It can, however, also have significant influence on river ecosystems, jeopardizing the goals of the EU Water Framework Directive, which aims for the “good ecological status” of all waters by 2015. The 3rd Joint Statement Meeting will contribute to further improve the balance between economic, social and environmental needs in inland navigation.