The third edition of the “Danube Business Talks” forum, organized by Viadounau took place on October 10th-11th 2018 in Vienna, Austria. This year’s edition of the successful business platform for innovative transport and logistics solutions on the Danube was held under the motto “The Danube: A Stream of Energy”. Over 200 representatives of the public and private sectors took part in the event and had the opportunity for targeted networking and to exchange opinions on recent developments, impulses and innovations in the field of Danube navigation.
In his welcoming address Norbert Hofer, the Austrian federal minister for transport, innovation and technology, stated that no one can tackle the challenges on the Danube alone. He elaborated: “The promotion of an efficient and sustainable European transport network can only be achieved in the common, international effort to be successful”.
The importance of cooperation and best practice sharing was also emphasized by Mrs. Désirée Oen, Policy Coordinator & Policy Advisor, Rhine-Danube Coordinator at the DG Mobility and Transport. According to her, the key challenges for the river’s management on a European level include improving the infrastructure, overcoming administrative barriers and fleet modernization.
Her statement once again referred to the relevance of the DANTE project, which aims to eliminate administrative barriers for vessels operating on the Danube. According to the planned roadmap, the Council Conclusions to be signed in Brussels in December 2018 will include the need for the simplified and harmonised reporting regimes which can be achieved with the DAVID forms and the project will have further specific measurable results.
Among the highlights of the event, the presentation of the Industry Declarations by Manfred Seitz (Pro Danube International) and Theresia Hacksteiner (European Barge Union) has taken place. The documents illustrated the needs of the inland waterborne transport stakeholders represented by the European Barge Union, the European Skippers' Organization and Pro Danube International and Pro Danube Austria. The Industry Declarations were bridged towards the foreseen Council Conclusions by viadonau in the Draft Findings Paper, including the need for the reduction of the administrative barriers.
Photo credits: viadonau