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Newsletter December 2020
We would like to update you on the activities carried out by our association since our last mailing in November 2020. Interested persons are invited to subscribe to our newsletter via the website of Pro Danube International.

In order to interact more efficiently with the industry and to provide information in real time, Pro Danube International has launched new interactive communication channels via social media. We cordially invite you to like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin by clicking on the icons below.
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With nearly all its members in attendance, the Board Meeting of PDI was successfully organised on 10 December. The focal points of the agenda were updates on the association's content work such as its active involvement in several EU initiatives that are shaping IWT's future in the upcoming MFF 2021-2027, as well as on ongoing and future projects, the successful closure of the GRENDEL project, and last, but not least, a detailed outlook for the year 2021. 
PDI will continue to efficiently bundle the Danube IWT industry's voice and interfere, on behalf of its members, with local waterway organisations, continuing our firm commitment to represent the sector's needs in relation to European institutions, relevant international organisations and policy makers.
Attended by numerous European experts ranging from the European Commission, the Danube Commission, national authorities and stakeholders to international IWT branch organisations, the objective of the FAIRway Danube Advisory Committee was to present the status quo of the project. PDI, in its capacity as the Danube IWT industry's representative, welcomed the achievements reached so far, stressing the fact that proper fairway maintenance is a key element for an efficient Danube transport.
During his intervention, Pro Danube International's Chairman, Mr. Herfried Leitner, suggested focusing on the harmonisation of information on the Danube FIS Portal by creating a single portal for users and to support the elimination of the most important bottlenecks hindering navigation

In his presentation, PDI's General Secretary, Mr. Robert Rafael, provided a comprehensive analysis on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on passenger and cargo transport along the Danube. Given that the sector was never before confronted with a crisis of this extent, it is of utmost importance to provide the businesses operating on the Danube with a high degree of certainty and predictability. 
Organised on 15 December by the Hungarian General Directorate of Water Management (OVF) and the National Infrastructure Developing Company (NIF), the core objective of the Danube Navigational Fairway Development Forum 2020, organised in the framework of the FAIRway Danube project, was to present the latest developments in terms of efficient fairway maintenance & RIS development in Hungary. 
Represented by its General Secretary, Mr. Robert Rafael, Pro Danube International expressed on behalf of its members' thanks and congratulations for the excellent results in the fairway- and RIS-related works, and for the fruitful co-operation during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with the Hungarian authorities. Furthermore, PDI offered its continuous contribution to the improvement of the Danube waterway transport infrastructure and service with special emphasis on the corridor approach, focusing on the most significant bottlenecks and other related challenges.
Following the closure of the Gabcikovo lock, Pro Danube International was in close contact with the Slovak authorities to keep its members updated on the most recent developments surrounding this issue. According to the official Nts 127/2020, the limitations imposed in NtS 118/2020 on the lock, will cease today, 18 December, starting at 17:00.
Serving as a best practice example in terms of efficient public-private cooperation and logistics solutions to efficiently accommodate intermodal transport to and from ports, the core achievements and milestones of the project “High Performance Green Port Giurgiu – Stage II Construction” were comprehensively presented in the framework of the Danube Ports Day 2020.
Co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the objective of the partnership established among one private company (ILR Logistica Romania, a member of PDI) and two public entities (Giurgiu Municipality and S.C Administraţia Zonei Libere Giurgiu), is to transform the Port of Giurgiu as the first efficient green port on the Danube. Located on the Rhine-Danube Corridor, the project will transform the Port of Giurgiu as a leading high-performance tri-modal logistics hub in the area and the first of this kind in the lower part of the Danube Region.
 
A detailed presentation on the current status of the project, its achievements and milestones, is available for download here.
1. Pro Danube welcomes the European Commission's plan for green, smart & affordable mobility
The European Commission presented on 9 December its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. The strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation, as outlined by the European Green Deal. The document outlines the development direction of the European transport policy in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transport's reliance on fossil fuels. The successful implementation of the ambitious goals set by the European Green Deal depends on the sustainability of the transport system. Digitalisation is in this regard an indispensable driver for climate neutrality.

Pro Danube International welcomes the fact that the Commission recognizes the challenges faced by waterborne transport in terms of decarbonisation due to reduced uptakes of innovative technologies, an issue affecting both ports and vessels. Moreover, the document stresses the importance of ports as key factors of international connectivity and their capacity to become multimodal mobility and transport hubs. Therefore, by highlighting the overall important role of waterborne transport in successfully implementing the goals as defined by the European Green Deal, Pro Danube sees the strategy as an important step forward in providing enduring solutions to raise the attractivity of IWT as a reliable, clean, and efficient mode of transport.

Pro Danube International, in its capacity as the Danube IWT's voice on the transnational level, was actively involved in the preparation process of the strategy, providing input and feedback based on the consultation of our members.
2. Danube transPORT is going digital. Become part of it!
We would like to use this opportunity to raise the attention on a survey that is carried out in order to assess the digital capabilities, needs and preparedness of Danube Ports to adapt to the challenges of the new digital era. The proposed survey was released mid-December and will collect input from the majority of the Danube Region ports, both inland and maritime, until the end of February 2021. The survey targets port authorities/administrations/port development companies focusing on the use of digital means in order to improve the efficiency of port operations.

The survey is available under the following link.

We would kindly like to invite you to disseminate the survey within your community.
3. Ukraine introduces the DAVID forms
Ukraine has followed in the footsteps of Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria in introducing the DAVID forms. Elaborated in the framework of the EUSDR Working Group PA1A Inland Waterways and PA 11 Security, the DAVID forms facilitate a harmonised and time-efficient border control process, gradually replacing the three most frequently used forms (arrival and departure reports, crew lists and passenger lists).

Initiated and coordinated by Pro Danube International, the DANTE project was a key facilitator for the implementation and acceptance of the DAVID forms in the Danube riparian countries.
4. Greening the IWT sector: impact of Pro Danube's projects highlighted in the Journal of iC
The European Green Deal emphasises that inland waterways are a key enabler towards reducing the environmental footprint of the transport sector. A shift of a substantial part of the 75% of inland freight carried today by road to rail and inland waterways is requested. It is a widely acknowledged fact that in comparison to other modes of transport, IWT is by far the most environmentally friendly one in terms of both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, in terms of infrastructure maintenance and related external costs, IWT is one of the most economical modes of transport. The transition towards an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy as well as the increasing integration of inland waterway transport into multimodal supply chains are therefore two lasting trends and challenges for the inland waterway transport sector.

The article emphasizes the impact of Pro Danube's well-known projects such as GRENDEL, STEERER, PhysICAL and its involvement in the Study on Financing the Energy Transition Towards a Zero-Emmission European IWT Sector.
Read More
5. GRENDEL: concept of SDG published in the prestigious publication Ship & Boat International
LNG has overcome a number of its previous hurdles, making it an attractive alternative to fossil fuels. Romania-based naval architect Ship Design Group explains how it has developed the concept for a gas-powerded inland pushboat for the Danube River in the framework of the GRENDEL project.
Read More
6. DIONYSUS: release of the first newsletter
The first edition of the DIONYSUS newsletter highlighting the achieved results in the early stages of the project and the status of the milestones that lie ahead, was recently published and is available here.

We would like to use this opportunity to invite you to subscribe to the future editions of the DIONYSUS newsletter via this link in order to be fully informed on the results of the project.

Moreover, a factsheet, containing information on the most important capitalisation and knowledge-transfer activities carried out in the early stages of the DIONYSUS project was recently released and is available for download here.
7. COMPETING: release of newsletter
The core objective of the COMPETING project is to pave the way towards a future-oriented EU-wide harmonised education system for inland navigation by introducing commonly accepted standards in both the evaluation process and the training of crew members.

Sustainable solutions, automation and digitalisation as well as communication on the European level will be the pillars of the education and training programmes. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase labour mobility in the European inland shipping sector.

The latest edition of the COMPETING newsletter, containing updated information on the latest results achieved and on the status of the milestones that still lie ahead, was recently published and is available here.
8. Useful links
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For questions or further information about the content of this newsletter, please contact:
Ruxandra Florescu (florescu@prodanube.eu)
Christian Stark (stark@prodanube.eu)



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