Project title

Increased institutional capacity in Danube navigation by boosting joint transnational competences and skills in education and public development services

Current and future challenges 

Today there is still a lack of transparency and knowledge on how to integrate green Danube Navigation into sustainable transport solutions. Increased institutional and organisational capacity will help equip public service providers with a critical mass of information and support to understand (=mind shift) and use (=modal shift) Danube transport and help them to jointly respond to common challenges.

Besides, there is a shortage of qualified personnel on-board inland vessels and fragmented legal framework governing skills and qualifications in the Danube inland transport sector and hindering recognition of qualifications and mobility of work force.

Main objectives

Increased institutional capacity in Danube navigation by boosting joint transnational competences and skills in education and public development services

  • Make public institutions in charge with nautical training and certification fit to implement common European standards;
  • Make public institutions responsible for Danube navigation development fit to provide services to actively trigger raise of modal share of Green Danube transport and to act as 1-stop-shops for Danube logistics;
  • Set-up of institutional (= sector-wide) Capacity Building cooperation for improving legal and policy frameworks on nautical qualifications and Danube transport promotion.

Lead Partner

  • CER - Romanian Maritime Training Centre - CERONAV

Project partners

  • VIA - via donau - Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH
  • FHOO - FH OÖ Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH
  • BMA - Executive Agency Maritime Administration
  • CRUP - Inland Navigation Development Centre Ltd.
  • FPZ - Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences
  • RSOE - National Association of Radio Distress-Signalling and Infocommunications
  • RoMT - Romanian Ministry of Transport
  • UPIR - Union of Inland Ports
  • MSB - Maritime School Bratislava
  • MinDop - Ministry of Transport and Construction of Slovak republic
  • DST - Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V.
  • UT - University of Transport Todor Kableshkov
  • SBHH - School of shipping, shipbuilding and hydro building
  • PGA - Port Governance Agency

Associated strategic partners

Duration and budget

Project duration: 30 months (January 2017 - June 2019)
The project was successfully concluded.

Budget: EUR 2,023,100
ERDF: EUR 1,586,185 (Funding rate: 85%)
IPA: EUR 133,450 (Funding rate: 85%)

Funding programme: Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) 
Priority Area: PA 4 - Well governed Danube Region 
Specific Objective: SO 4.1 Improve institutional capacities to tackle major societal challenges   

Project activities

The official kick-off event in Bucharest was held on 21st February 2017.

  • In parallel with similar events in the other Danube riparian states, viadonau and the FH Steyr organised a national workshop on 3rd April 2017 with broad stakeholder participation (educational institutions, shipping companies, bmvit (Austrian Ministry of Transport), employer representatives, employee representatives and unions). Among other agenda items, the aim of the workshop was to discuss the possible impacts of the proposal for an EU Directive "Recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation“ on a national and transnational level. 
  • On 13 June 2017 the EU Strategy for Danube Region National Coordinators conferred the “EUSDR Strategic Project” status to nine projects and Danube SKILLS is one of them. It identified projects with high macro-regional impact benefitting the Danube Region and its EU Strategy.
  • At project’s third meeting on 12 and 13 September in Vienna and Krems, a clear 5 months‘ roadmap was set up by the partners towards the upcoming train-the-trainer course in February 2018.
  • From February 19 to 21 2018, CERONAV hosted the train the trainer session of the first model course “Safety practices for emergency situations during ship operation” on its Training Campus in Constanța. In parallel on 21 February 2018, experts from viadonau's transport development jointly worked with the project partners on the implementation of "Danube logistics promotion centres", in which an uniform service portfolio will be provided for all users of Danube logistics for free.
  • On 19 September 2018 the train-the-trainer session on the subject “Markets and country-specific potentials” took place in Bratislava. The involved expert staff of the Danube Logistics Promotion Centres was trained by viadonau and VBW on the potentials in the Danube corridor and best practices from Western Europe. At the same time the pilot testing in all 8 Danube riparian countries started: The national responsible Danube Logistics Promotion Centres run bilateral interviews with potential and existing users of the Danube waterway and organised national workshops for a broader audience.
  • On 20 September 2018, the train-the-trainer-session in the field of nautical qualifications on the second model course was held, focusing on "Human Resource Management and Social Responsibility on Board".
  • On 12 October 2018, a national stakeholder meeting was held in Vienna on the implementation of the EU Directive 2017/2397 in the framework of the apprenticeship in the area of inland navigation and shipping in Austria.
  • On 10 December 2018 viadonau organised the pilot course on Safety practices for emergency situations during ship operation in Vienna, Austria. With the support of the FH Upper Austria and the vocational school MFE, the participating apprentices (12) were offered a diverse one-day programme.
  • The establishment of national focal points (“Danube Logistics Promotion Centres“) with Danube wide information and services were concluded. The contact persons, contact data and the tasks of the “Danube Logistics Promotion Centres“ were clearly listed in a new brochure: Link to brochure
  • viadonau provided determined logistics advice in the frame of this network: Danube Logistics advice international
  • The project was successfully concluded in June 2019.

Further information is also available on the project website.


The project made a substantial contribution to the implementation of measure 
13. Improve educational offerings of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.