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Transport ministers will cooperate to ensure Danube navigability

On the initiative of the EU Commission, the Transport Ministers of the river states of the Danube met for the first time on 7th June in Luxembourg with the goal to avoid the risk of new navigation standstills on the river. A final declaration, asserting existing obligations to maintain the fairway to a good status,  was signed by the ministers of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia, while Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina have sent letters of support. The ministers agreed to meet again, and to co-ordinate actions through the structures of the Danube Strategy and the TEN-T Transport Network Coordinator for Inland Waterways.

The EU Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas declared that in 2011 navigation blockages on the Danube due to low water levels caused more than 6 million euros worth of losses that can be avoided by better maintenance, better communication and better monitoring. Such bottlenecks undermined trust in Danube navigation as a reliable and cost-effective mode of transport, risking a shift of freight to less environmentally friendly modes of transport.

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