(Press Release) ICPDR Public Consultation Workshop: “Our Opinion – Our Danube” a resounding success
Vienna, 30th June 2021 - Around 130 experts, stakeholders and members of the public were able to #HaveTheirSay about the 2021 updates of the Danube River Basin and Flood Risk Management Plans in the workshop "Our Opinion – Our Danube" which has just taken place.
The workshop is a key event for the update by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) to its management plans and gives Danubian citizens a unique opportunity to contribute to the six-year plans.
The Danube River Basin Management Plan and Danube Flood Risk Management Plan are being revised and updated in 2021 and will guide the direction of the ICPDR for the next six years until 2027. The Stakeholder Consultation Workshop, Our Opinion – Our Danube, is one of the most important parts of this process.
For the development of these management plans, representatives of civil society and stakeholders are asked to contribute their views and have their say. The people of the Danube River Basin will be affected by the measures in the plans for generations to come and it is important that they are involved in their development from the outset.
The draft management plans have been available for comment on the ICPDR’s website since 31st March 2021, with the public invited to submit comments until 30th September 2021. These can be sent in writing to the address below, or to the dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org@df-dfw . The comments and input from the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop will all be taken into account during the review and finalization of the plans by the end of the year.
The workshop is one occasion where the public get to meet face-to-face with ICPDR experts. Last time in 2015, the experts, stakeholders, and members of the public were able to get together in person in Zagreb. Due to the pandemic the 2021 event has been online-only, and it has proven to be a resounding success. The plan was introduced at the workshop by ICPDR President Momčilo Blagojević of Montenegro and ICPDR Executive Secretary Ivan Zavadsky. The floor was then given to representatives of various stakeholder groups, starting with the next generation and a speech from President of the Sava Youth Parliament, Tana Bertić. Representatives from the following 9 key stakeholders, who are also among the ICPDR’s 24 Observers made statements on behalf of their organizations:
- Irene Lucius of WWF-CEE
- Gerd Frik of VGB Powertech e.V.
- Theresia Hacksteiner of the European Barge Union
- Gerhard Nagl of the Danube Environmental Forum
- Peter Gammeltoft of the Danube Sturgeon Task Force
- Cristina Sandu of the International Association for Danube Research (IAD)
- Balázs Horváth of Priority Area 4 of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR PA 4)
- László Balatonyi of Priority Area 5 of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR PA 5)
- and Prof. Dr. Wolfram Mauser of Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich.
Five pre-determined Thematic Areas relevant to the two plans were discussed in a series of Danube Café workshop sessions. The outcome of these sessions was gathered and delivered during the We Discussed Danube session on the second day of the workshop, and all comments will be taken into consideration during the finalization of both plans due in December 2021.
The outcome of the workshop will be included in the Public Consultation Report 2021, which will be available on the ICPDR website including all the original comments raised by stakeholders and the public.
ICPDR President Momčilo Blagojević opened and closed the two-day event with a congratulatory intervention:
"There is of course a legal requirement behind a public consultation like this. In essence, it is articles 14 of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive and both articles 9 and 10 of the Floods Directive that require us to conduct some level of public consultation during this process.
However, besides being a legal requirement, it’s also just an unbeatable tool for us here at the ICPDR, and it ensures that all stakeholders have their say and get to give us their input directly."
Public Participation & Communication
ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
Mobile: (+43 676) 845 200 220