The meeting of the working group on technical matters took place in a hybrid format on 18-19 April 2023.
The meeting, chaired by Ms. Ivana Kunc (Serbia), was attended by delegations of nine Member States of the Danube Commission (DC), as well as representatives of international organizations.
Pursuant to the adopted agenda, the working group took up a set of topics under the main sections: “Navigation”, “Technology, including radio communication”, “Hydrotechnics and hydrometeorology”, “Operation and Environment”, “Statistics and Economics”. The Danube Commission’s involvement in Grants (GRANT II, PLATINA 3) was also discussed.
The reports of the meetings, held prior to the technical working group meeting, namely:
- Report on the results of the Meeting of the Drafting Group to Update the DFND-18 (EM DFND) (8 March 2023).
- Report on the results of the Expert Meeting on Hydraulic Engineering (EM HYD) (28 February 2023).
- Report on the results of the Expert Meeting on ship-generated waste (EM WASTE) (9 March 2023).
- Report on the results of the Expert Meeting on Development of Ports and Port Operations (EM PORTS) (21 March 2023).
were examined within the meeting’s agenda.
As outcome of the meetings at expert level organized in the spring of 2023, a number of important decisions were recommended for consideration at the 99th session of the Danube Commission, including the adoption of the updated version of the “Basic Provisions for the Navigation on the Danube” (DFND), to be applied by the Member States from 1 January 2024.
In addition to the approval of the new draft of DFND, the working group had active and fruitful discussions also on the implementation of the European Union Directives (EC) 2017/2397, (EC) 2026/1629 into Danube navigation, the implementation of the European Standards ES-TRIN, ES-QIN, the participation in the working groups of the committees CESNI/QP, CESNI/PT, CESNI /TI, as well as the problems of fleet modernization in line with the Green Deal.
Considerable attention was paid to the Plan for major works on the achievement of recommended fairway parameters, hydrotechnical and other facilities on the Danube, taking into account the proposals considered at the Expert Meeting on Hydraulic Engineering.
The issues of freight and passenger transport, ports and logistics services were as usual of great importance for the DC’s policy-making; therefore, when discussing these points, a number of activities to assist the Danube Commission in the development and implementation of specific projects, including the TEN-T projects of the Rhine-Danube corridor and the environmental protection of the Danube basin, were presented. In this field, the recommendations of the recent expert meetings were also taken into account.
In reviewing the issues of statistics and economics, the Working group welcomed the Secretariat’s developments on market observation and cooperation with the CCNR in this regard.
The Working group considered and approved the report by the Secretariat on its participation in GRANT II, while pointing out that an Amendment 1 to the GRANT II, adding a new activity, aimed to promote the shift of freight flows on the Danube due to Russian aggression against Ukraine, had been signed in May 2022.
The Working group considered and approved the report by the Secretariat on its participation in the PLATINA 3 project, as well as the Secretariat’s proposals regarding the main preparatory stages of the new Grants with the EU, namely GRANT III, PLATINA 4.