Pro Danube International

International 4cPro Danube International acts as network of private businesses to promote better infrastructure and services which result in a more intensive use of the environmentally friendly inland waterway. We adequately represent the "Danube-minded business” in the political debate on transport policy, transport technology and regional development.

In a nutshell, Pro Danube International:

  • engages in actions fostering the improvement of waterway infrastructure and better maintenance and proposes specific measures
  • promotes investment in Danube ports as centres for regional development
  • fosters modernization of Danube fleet & IWT digitalisation
  • facilitates investment in human resources
  • acts as promoter and catalyst for actions of the EU Strategy for Danube Region and of the NAIADES Programmes
  • supports member organizations in lobbying work through guidance, good practice and transnational co-operation activities
  • campaigns on red tape and administrative barriers

The activities of Pro Danube comprise policy relations and advocacy as well as public affairs.

As a business network we serve our members by initiating and executing strategic projects in EU-funded programs and support their initiatives.

Additionally, Pro Danube takes pride for setting up several initiatives and transnational know-how transfer events in relation to Danube fleet modernization and ports development such as "Port Info Day", "Port Policy Day", "Danube Ports Digitalisation", etc.  For details, please refer to our Events section.


Our mission

The Danube functions as the backbone for sustainable and cost-effective logistics services in a region of almost 100 million Europeans. Pro Danube International wants to unlock this potential for the benefit of the economies and the people in line with the function of the Danube as an important eco-system. Pro Danube has three core objectives:

  • to create a more favourable policy framework,
  • to improve waterway infrastructure and
  • to promote investments into ports, fleet as well as nautical and logistics personnel. 


Our objectives

Pro Danube International is a driving force in the development of the Danube as a competitive logistics system. We act as a competent partner for authorities and administrations by supporting the definition and implementation of policy actions based on the experiences of the private sector. In line with our three main objectives, we dedicate our efforts to the following priorities:

1. Pro Danube promotes a more favourable policy framework.

  • cooperates with European and national Institutions on programs and initiatives
  • contributes to the implementation of EUSDR Action Plan and of NAIADES
  • supports the definition and implementation of national policies
  • lobbies for public funding schemes and for a more active inland navigation policy in general
  • increases awareness of decision makers, media & the general public with regard to the potentials of the Danube
  • supports members to define and execute strategic projects
  • maximizes the use of EU funds for project implementations

2. Pro Danube works on improving waterway infrastructure.

  • enforces minimum standards in waterway maintenance by monitoring and interacting with responsible authorities
  • supports elimination of TEN-T bottlenecks (shallow water sections) following UNECE/AGN recommendations
  • is active in the further development of River Information Services
  • promotes better maintenance of locks
  • pushes for an upgrading of connecting waterways/existing canals and for missing waterway links
  • is active in sustainable waterway development following the recommendations of ICPDR)

3. Pro Danube promotes investments in ports, fleet, education and training by initiating transnational EU-funded projects

  • lobbies for investment programs in ports and terminals as well as for the modernization of the Danube fleet
  • triggers implementation projects for improvement to ports and fleet with regard to higher efficiency and increased sustainability
  • initiates and supports implementation of alternative fuels for Danube navigation
  • initiates and executes innovation and modal shift projects
  • identifies and fosters actions to ensure skilled nautical and logistics personnel

How we work

Pro Danube International functions as a network node that communicates with members, institutions and relevant stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Pro Danube International connects directly with EU institutions, international media and the European public. Via our members we interact with national governments and administrations.



Herfried Leitner, Chairman

Robert Rafael, General Secretary

Peter Wötzinger, Serban Cucu – Deputy Chairman