Together for the Danube

At the end of 2010 the European Commission introduced the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) which had been developed by the Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO) together with the 14 states of the Danube Region. The implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region began in 2011. The eleven thematic priorities are each jointly coordinated by two states of the Danube Region. Austria, together with Romania, holds responsibility for Priority Area 1a - Improving mobility and multimodality on the inland waterways.  

BMK (Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology - formerly BMVIT) and the Romanian Ministry of Transport assume the role of Priority Area Coordinators (PACs), while viadonau supports the BMK as Technical Secretariat  on the operational level.  

During the period from 01 January 2023 until
31 December 2028 the activities of the Technical Secretariat are being co-financed by the Danube Regional Programme (DRP).

The core of the Danube Region Strategy is an Action Plan that includes fields of action and measures for all Priority Areas. In the area of ​​inland navigation these Actions are:

  • Contribute to improve waterway and port infrastructure & management
  • Foster Business Development
  • Facilitate fleet modernisation
  • Support the further roll-out and enhancement of River Information Services (RIS)
  • Contribute to the enhanced quality of education and jobs
  • Contribute to the simplification, harmonisation and digitalisation of administrative processes

More than 100 projects have yet been identified that contribute to the objectives of the Priority Area mobility and multimodality of the inland waterways.  

Official Homepage (EN)  

Further information and all project descriptions are available on our official website: Priority Area PA1a - To improve mobility and multimodality: inland waterways

Information about the Danube Region Strategy and the other Priority Areas is available on the following website: EU Strategy for the Danube Region 

Budget 2023 - 2028

Total Budget: EUR 750,000
ERDF-contribution: EUR 600,000)
National funds: EUR 150,000

News from the Danube Region Strategy

Danube Ministerial Conclusions signed in Brussels on 3rd December

Upon invitation of EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc the Transport Ministers of the Danube riparian states reconfirmed their commitment to implement the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan for the Danube and its navigable tributaries, as adopted in December 2014, and recommended the application of the harmonised DAVID forms for border controls. PA1a, in cooperation with the FAIRway Danube project, delivered the basis for this discussion by means of the updated National Action Plans.

In their Conclusions, the ministers have once again agreed to step up fairway rehabilitation and maintenance efforts in the years to come in order to improve fairway conditions according to the relevant target values defined in the Fairway Master Plan. The ministers announced to allocate the necessary national budgets as outlined in the National Action Plans and to make full use of EU co-financing opportunities for the implementation of required measures.
Furthermore, the ministers welcomed the first set of harmonised border control forms (arrival and departure reports, crew lists as well as passenger list) - the results of the joint Working Group of EUSDR PA1a and PA11 - and recommended their further application in the Danube region. 

PA1a will continue to monitor the implementation of the Danube Fairway Master Plan with the support of the FAIRway Danube project and continue to work for the application of the DAVID forms.

Conclusions on effective waterway infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance, December 2018, as signed by the Transport Ministers or State Secretaries of  Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine. (PDF | 381 KB)

Annex: Master Plan Progress Report Summary. (PDF | 474 KB)

A revision process for the EUSDR Action Plan (for all priority areas) was already launched in 2018. The revised Action Plan is intended to refocus the Danube Strategy and refer to future challenges. This revision process for the entire strategy was completed by the end of 2019.

The focus in 2019 and 2020 was once again on the topics of waterway infrastructure and management (Working Group 1) and the dismantling of administrative barriers in the Danube Region (Working Group 6 - see Measure 11 for a more detailed description). The declared goal of Working Group 1 is to ensure coordinated quality standards for maintenance measures and to implement cross-border coordinated waterway management on the entire Danube. The framework for this is the "Master Plan for the Maintenance of the Danube" developed in 2014 and confirmed by the transport ministers of the Danube riparian states. As in 2016 and 2018, the Danube transport ministers' renewed their political commitment to the Master Plan in June 2020 through the "Danube Ministerial Conclusions 2020". Due to the pandemic, a physical meeting of the Danube Transport Ministers was not possible and the conclusions were confirmed in a written procedure. The transport ministers agreed to step up efforts to rehabilitate and maintain the navigation channels in the coming years by providing the necessary national budgets and making full use of the possibilities of EU co-financing for the implementation of the necessary measures. This renewed political commitment on the threshold of the new funding period 2021-2027 will be of great value for preparing relevant activities in the coming years.

An update of the Danube Maintenance Master Plan is planned for 2021. The Danube Ministerial Conclusions 2020 also advocate accompanying measures such as the development of landside infrastructure (especially moorings), the further introduction and digitalisation of DAVID forms (see measure 11) and the further greening of the inland fleet.
Furthermore, PA1a was intensively involved in planning and programming processes for the future EU funding programmes of the financial period 2021-2027 ("embedding") in order to anchor the topics of inland navigation in the future European programmes.

The project makes a substantial contribution to the implementation of measure
14. Embed Danube navigation in European strategies of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.