The Meeting of the Working Group on legal and financial issues (WG JUR-FIN) of the Danube Commission (DC) was held under the Chairmanship of the Representative of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Gueorgui Gueorguiev on 8-11 and 30 November 2022 as hybrid meeting.
The delegations of ten Member States of the Danube Commission (the Republic of Austria, Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Republic of Serbia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine) participated in the Meeting.
WG JUR-FIN took note of the Report of the Director General of the Secretariat on the implementation of the DC Working Plan 2022 (legal, financial and publication chapters) as well as approved the draft of the DC Working Plan for the next year. The consequences of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine have had an inevitablee negative effect on the financial issues of the Organization and required concerted actions from the Danube countries to adjust its annual costs. The member states agreed on a slightly increased 2023 Budget which shall enable the implementation of the proposed work plan despite the high increase of energy and other costs.
Intensive discussions also covered legal topics pertaining to the basic principles of the Belgrade Convention regarding the regime of navigation on the Danube (1948): i) DC practice in the application of the provisions of the art. 38 (coordination of the special/navigational charges between the DC and its member states and Special River Administrations); ii) port access; iii) carrying out the works necessary for the maintenance and improvement of navigation conditions in accordance with art. 3, 4 and 8; iv) validity of the vessels certificates and other topics.
Important aspects of the extension of the Danube Commission cooperation with international partners have also been thoroughly discussed, including the continuation of the practical and result-oriented cooperation with the European Commission.