In mid-March, about 70 experts met in Vienna for the second meeting of the Working Groups for Priority Area 1a of the EU Danube Region Strategy (EUSDR).
The meeting focussed on the discussion of the implementation of the Strategy's actions for the improvement of mobility and multimodality on the inland waterways in the Danube region.
Stakeholders participating in the meeting included the navigation industry (vessel owner-operators, shippers, ports), representatives from ministries of the Danube countries and the European Commission, international industry associations, national and local authorities, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, universities and research institutions.
In their role as Priority Area Coordinators, the Romanian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, together with the Steering Group of EUSDR's Priority Area 1a established five thematic Working Groups in order to involve key stakeholders in the process of implementing the Strategy along the targets set for inland waterways in the Danube basin.
The second meeting of the Working Groups focussed on specific road maps proposed by the Priority Area Coordinators for the implementation of actions in the following thematic fields:
These topics were discussed on round tables on the basis of written feedback provided by the participants on the draft road maps and were rounded off by a general discussion in the plenum.
Conclusion and next steps
The results of the meeting will be reported to the Steering Group of Priority Area 1a, in which the 14 Danube countries, three Directorates-General of the European Commission, three river commissions and several transnational organisations are represented.
Based on the approval of the road maps by the Steering Group, the Priority Area Coordinators will draft a first progress report for the European Commission on the implementation of the Strategy concerning inland waterways. The progress report has to be finalised by June 2012.
To complement the expert forum of Working Groups with a broader involvement of stakeholders, a first Annual Stakeholder Conference will be organized on the 24th and 25th of May 2012 at in Bucharest. Information on this conference and how to register is available at groupspaces.com/MobilityWaterways/item/281753.
Topic information on the implementation of the Danube Region Strategy's Priority Area 1a on inland waterways is available at www.danube-navigation.eu.
General information on the EU Danube Region Strategy can be found at www.danube-region.eu.
Source: Technical Secretariat for Priority Area 1a of the EU Danube Region Strategy
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