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Action Plan for EU Strategy for the Danube region

Action Plan is one of the outputs of the Strategy approach. The aim is to go from “words to actions” by identifying the concrete priorities for the macro-region. Once an action or project is included in the Action Plan, it should be implemented by the countries and stakeholders concerned.

Each action and project should demonstrate immediate and visible benefits for the people of the Region, have an impact on the macro-region (or a significant part of it), promote sustainable development and cover several regions and countries. The projects should be feasible (technically and financially) and there should be overall agreement between countries, stakeholders and the Commission of their worth, they should be coherent and mutually supportive. Actions and projects must be compatible with each other and create win-win solution.

The Action Plan should be stable for a certain period of time. However, over the years, the priorities may evolve and hence, the actions and projects may be updated, transformed or replaced. The action Plan is therefore “rolling”, and will be regularly reviewed.

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European Strategy for Danube region

08 December, 2010 EU Commission adopted European Strategy for Danube region and Action Plan to it. The Strategy widens this approach to tackle priorities in an integrated way. Geographically it concerns Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria), Austria, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria within the EU, and Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine (the regions along the Danube) outside. Eight of them are EU-members, six are non-EU members.

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region establishes four main pillars for action:

  • Connecting the Danube Region
  • Protecting the environment in the Danube Region
  • Building prosperity in the Danube Region
  • Strengthening the Danube Region

For the period of 2007-2013 approximately half of the Programs on the territorial cooperation are concentrated in the Danube region. 94 programs within European territorial cooperation, 18 cross-border programs, 7 transnational programs, 13 programs in the frame of the tools for pre-accession aid in the context of cross-border cooperation and 3 programs of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument geographically cover the Danube region.

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention)

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem. The convention was developed and adopted by participating nations at a meeting in Ramsar on February 2, 1971, and came into force on December 21, 1975.

Presently, there are 156 contracting parties. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance now includes 1,676 sites (known as Ramsar Sites) covering around 150 million hectares. It is also important that around 80 wetlands of the Danube basin are included in theRamsar list.

www.ramsar.org

Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. There are 184 parties and 936 World Heritage Sites. One of the sites that belong to the world heritage is Danube Delta, which is in the list of 200 most valuable eco-regions of the worldthat are in danger.

whc.unesco.org

Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats

The BernConvention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats 1979, also known as the Bern Convention (or Berne Convention), came into force on June 1, 1982.

It has now been signed by all member states of the Council of Europe - except San Marino and Russia - as well as by the European Union, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal. Algeria, Belarus, Cape Verde, the Holy See, San Marino and Russia are among non-signatories that have observer status at meetings of the committee.

The convention sets out to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats; promote co-operation between states; monitor and control endangered and vulnerable species; assist with the provision of assistance concerning legal and scientific issues.

The convention led to the creation in 1998 of the Emerald network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs) throughout the territory of the parties to the convention, which operates alongside the European Union's Natura 2000programme.

It also provides for the monitoring and control of endangered species, and the provision of assistance concerning legal and scientific issues.

www.coe.int/t/e/cultural

Convention regarding the regime of navigation on the Danube (Belgrad convention)

Convention was signed on 18 August 1948, Belgrad and is international legal mechanism, which regulates regime of navigation on the Danube.Navigation on the Danube shall be free and open for the nationals, vessels of commerce and goods of all States, on a footing of equality in regard to port and navigation charges and conditions for merchant shipping. The foregoing shall not apply to traffic between port of the same State.Under the Convention, Parties undertake to keep their land in the Danube navigable condition and to take measures to improve traffic conditions and not to put obstacles to navigation on the Danube waterway.

http://www.ksh.fgg.uni-lj.si/danube/belgconv/

The Convention on Co-operation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the River Danube (Danube River Protection Convention)

Convention was signed on June 29, 1994 (Sofia, Bulgary). Convention is the main legal instrument for cooperation and transboundarywater management in Danube River Basin, these instruments includemeasures to reduce the pollution loads entering the Black Sea from sources in the Danube River Basin,preventive measures to control hazards originating from accidents involving floods, ice or hazardous substances, the conservation, improvement and rational use of surface waters and groundwater

General purpose of the contracting parties of the Convention is cooperation on the main issues of water management issues by taking all appropriate legal, administrative and technical measures to at least maintain and where possible improve the current water quality and environmental conditions of the Danube river and of the waters in its catchment area, and to prevent and reduce as far as possible adverse impacts and changes occurring or likely to be caused.

http://www.danubecommission.org.ua/index.php/en_US/convention

European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN)

The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN) was done at Geneva on 26 May 2000 on the occassion of a Diplomatic Conference held under the joint auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR). It entered into force on 29 February 2008.

ADG contains provisions on ensuring a high level of safety of international carriage of dangerous goods by inland waterways, contributing effectively to the protection of the environment, by preventing any pollution resulting from accidents or incidents during such carriage; and facilitating transport operations and promoting international trade in dangerous goods. Ukraine joined the Agreement on 17 November, 2009, which came into force on 28 February, 2010.

www.unece.org

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy

The Water Framework Directive (more formally the Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy) is a European Union directive which commits European Union member states to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies (including marine waters up to kilometer from shore) by 2015.

This Framework-Directive has a number of objectives, such as preventing and reducing pollution, promoting sustainable water usage, environmental protection, improving aquatic ecosystems and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts.Its ultimate objective is to achieve “good ecological and chemical status” for all Community waters by 2015.

eur-lex.europa.eu