- Title: HUNGARY/FILE: Budapest conference considers Danube development
- Date: 25th February 2010
- Summary: REGENSBURG, GERMANY (FILE - 2007) (REUTERS) BOAT SETTING OFF ON EXPEDITION TO STUDY DANUBE WATER QUALITY BANNER ON BOAT READING IN ENGLISH "WATCH YOUR DANUBE"/DUCK SWIMMING PAST SCIENTISTS ONBOARD EXPEDITION BOAT BOAT MOVING THROUGH WATER SIGN ON BOAT SCIENTIST TAKING WATER SAMPLE FROM DANUBE WITH BUCKET BACK OF BOAT/DANUBE BOTEVO, BULGARIA (FILE - OCTOBER - 2006) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF OIL FLOATING ON DANUBE AFTER SPILL OIL ON BEACH MAN FISHING IN POLLUTED WATERS
- Embargoed: 12th March 2010 12:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA8M32BNTQES7W5O4X0FAS4AQBM
- Story Text: Future development of the Danube River was under discussion in Budapest on Thursday (February 25), as delegations from around the region gathered to work on a common strategy.
Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia and Serbia were among the countries who sent representatives.
The summit provided a framework for dialogue between the European Commission and officials of the governments of the countries connected to the Danube, as well as business executives and international organisations.
It focussed on the socio-economic and environmental pillars of the strategy.
"Loads of ideas came up ahead of the summit and we have heard even more today," said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Balazs at a news conference following the conference.
"With the co-ordination of the European Commission we will have to choose from these ideas the ones those that will make up the Danube Strategy. Obviously, one of the main topics is the transport of the Danube region," he added.
The participants accepted a joint declaration in which they highlight the key areas for the strategy.
"The environmental protection of the Danube region is a challenge and so is the water management, water purity - these are all high priority topics," Balazs said.
During the first half of 2010, the European Commission will consult the participating countries to take stock of the relevant projects and proposals.
After this consultation, the Commission will propose an Action Plan and a governance system to be formally adopted in December 2010 in the form of a Communication on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The European Council will adopt a new strategy in the first half of 2011 while Hungary holds the Union presidency.
Balazs said that in each country many civilian ideas and proposals were sent in for the conference.
"The theme of the Danube really attracts people's interests. We have received a huge number of ideas, proposals from civilians, we could hardly process them. The Danube moves people's imagination, it inspires them," he said.
The Danube runs along 3,000 km from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. It links six EU member countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania - as well as Croatia and Ukraine. Its drainage basin includes parts of Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Albania.
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