Romania takes over ICPDR Presidency from Montenegro for 2022

News & Media
a bottle of Danube water on a table

(Press Release) VIENNA, 26 January (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) – Romania is taking over the 2022 Presidency of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). Incoming President Róbert–Eugen Szép set out some goals for his forthcoming term at an online event, describing Romania’s plans for the all-important Danube Ministerial Meeting 2022.

The incoming President announced that the Romanian Presidency will be placing priority on the ICPDR Ministerial Meeting 2022, the implementation of the provisions of the Danube Declaration 2022, as well as initiating measures laid out in the Danube River Basin Management Plan and Danube Flood Risk Management Plan Updates 2021.

Held again as a hybrid meeting in Vienna, the Presidency handover event saw representatives from the Romanian and Montenegrin missions in Austria participating in the ceremony. As is the ICPDR tradition, Ambassador Veselin Šuković from the Permanent Mission of Montenegro to the United Nations, Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Other International Organizations in Vienna, along with Irina-Elena Donciu, Minister Plenipotentiary, Chargé d'Affaires at the Permanent Mission of Romania to the International Organisations in Vienna, met to exchange a bottle of Danube water on behalf of the respective incoming and outgoing Presidents, as is the ICPDR’s tradition. Passed over at every ICPDR presidency handover ceremony since the mid-90s, the bottle symbolizes the ways in which ICPDR Presidents hold the future of the basin’s waters in their hands.

Attending remotely due to ongoing public health concerns stemming from the pandemic, incoming President Szép said: “It’s an exciting time to be taking over this important post as ICPDR President at a crossroads at both the end and the beginning of another six-year management cycle. Coming out of a strange pandemic period and at a time of general transition throughout the world, where meetings such as this are moving more regularly online and climate ambitions are growing all the time, it’s a huge honour to take on the challenges of this role in 2022. All ICPDR Contracting Parties continue to face a wide variety of differing circumstance – but the ICPDR is an institution that represents their shared priorities and aims. Romania is a vital Danubian country, and is responsible for a large section of Danube River Basin territory, and we see this Presidency as a great opportunity at an important moment.”

Specific priorities of the incoming Romanian Presidency include:

  • Hosting the Danube Ministerial Meeting 2022: A landmark point on the ICPDR’s calendar, this meeting takes place once every six years, and gives each of the ICPDR’s contracting parties a chance to speak and provide their input for the basin’s continued well-being.
  • Supporting the aims of the Danube Declaration 2022: This document, signed at the Ministerial Meeting, sets the priorities for the Danube River Basin, along with the aims for the commission for the next period.
  • Supporting the dissemination and launch of the Danube River Basin Management Plan (DRBMP) Update 2021: Developed throughout the last few years, this second update to the ICPDR’s most important plan guides the specific priorities and aims for the commission pertaining to how Significant Water Management Issues (SWMIs) should be addressed over the next six years.
  • Supporting the dissemination and launch of the Danube Flood Risk Management Plan (DFRMP) Update 2021: Developed alongside the DRBMP Update in 2021, this second plan of its kind focuses specifically on issues pertaining to flood-related measures.

Romania’s State Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, Róbert–Eugen Szép has long worked closely with the water sector, and is a passionate Danubian and supporter of all things water-related in the River Basin.

The work of outgoing President Momčilo Blagojević of Montenegro, was acknowledged  at the event, recognizing a successful tenure as ICPDR President during a difficult and unusual period. Mr. Blagojević wished his successor the best of luck and expressed his deepest gratitude to his team and colleagues across ICPDR for their hard work during 2021.

The event was live-streamed on YouTube and can be seen here.

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For further information, please contact:

Hélène Masliah-Gilkarov
Public Participation and Communication
ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5895
Mobile: (+43 676) 845 200 220
Email: helene.masliah-gilkarov[at]