New DPN Partners. Boosted Partnership! 

The IGÖD Board Meeting held on 16 September 2019 in Krems decided to join the Danube Ports Network. With this decision, the four ports have shown their trust and confidence in the Danube Ports Network and its abilities to deliver benefits for the Danube Reagion port sector. We are looking forward to working with IGOD -- for and with its 4 Danube Port Organisations i.e. Linz A.G. Hafen, Rhenus Logistics, Ennshafen and Hafen Wien

DPN Advisory Group holds its second working meeting in Vienna  

On the 16th of December 2019, the Advisory Group of the Danube Ports Network (DPN) came together for its second working meeting in Vienna. The Advisory Group had met under an informal interactive dialogue format to discuss strategic, organisational and financial aspects pertaining to the “start-up” stage of the DPN, which began after the completion of the DAPhNE Project (30th of June 2019).

Chaired by Capt. Béla Szalma, DPN Advisory Group Chairman, the meeting reviewed the progress and work in hand of the Technical Secretariat. The participating Members have provided practical and strategic advice which shall guide the operational and thematic work of the Technical Secretariat in 2020. 

The focus of the work will continue to be on the initiation, definition and implementation of common interest projects, port advocacy and communication, and port policy dedicated events organisation. As the global concerns about the environmental issues such climate change increase, the Advisory Group called on the Technical Secretariat to place a more focus on promoting the role and positive contribution of Danube Ports towards sustainable development, in line with the newly adopted European Green Deal.

In terms of strategic partnerships establishment, next year shall see the conclusion of a cooperation agreement of the Secretariat of the Danube Commission with the Danube Ports Network with shall enable DC’s support (organizational and financial contributions) to further consolidate the capacity and activities of the network through dedicated communication and joint awareness activities.

The Meeting was hosted by Pro Danube Management GmbH – the Host & Coordinating Organisation of the DPN Technical Secretariat and contributed by :

  • Capt. Béla SZALMA, President Hungarian Federation of Danube Ports, Chairman DPN Advisory Group
  • Mr. Gussmagg Gerhard, Managing Director, Rhenus Donauhafen Krems GmbH & Co KG, Member DPN Advisory Group
  • Mr. Thomas MOSER, General Director, Danube Logistics SRL/Giurgiulesti International Free Port, Member DPN Advisory Group
  • Mr. Anguel Zaburtov Director General Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (by Skype), Member DPN Advisory Group
  • Mr. Herfried LEITNER, Chairman Pro Danube International
  • Mr. Peter Woetzinger, Partner iC consulenten, Managing Director Pro Danube Management GmbH
  • Mr. Robert Rafael, General Manager Pro Danube Management GmbH)
  • Ms. Janeta Toma, PDM, DPN Technical Secretariat

DPN contributes the first working meeting on Education & Training opportunities for Danube Ports with the Danube Commission and UNCTAD

On 6 February 2020, DPN Technical Secretariat participated in first working meeting on Education and Training opportunities for the Danube Ports. The meeting was initiated and hosted by the Danube Commission (DC) Secretariat with the aim of discussing the UNCTAD TrainForTrade - Port Management Programme (PMP) and possibilities of adapting the training programme to the needs of the Danube ports, including next steps for developing a specific model of cooperation and coordination among UNCTAD, DC and DPN. This shall enable the development and implementation of a dedicated EU/Danube Region-wide Port Management Training Scheme benefiting Danube River and Sea ports.

The participants agreed that a comprehensive regional port management training programme needs to be initiated for the next generation of Danube river and seaports, geared into the Danube ports‘needs and labour market requirements. In this context, Danube Commission will act as the facilitator for setting up an improved education and training initiative, with the DPN acting as a key interface for UNCTAD in the definition and implementation of a dedicated Danube port training program. 

The meeting served as a preparatory step ahead of the DC’s Expert Group meeting on Crew and Personnel (EG PERS) to be held on the 27th of April 2020 in Budapest, which shall discuss inter alia the benefits of developing and implementing a comprehensive education and training port initiative in the Danube Region.



Capture APMC 2

Port of Constanta reinforces its commitment to the Danube Ports Network

On 26 February 2020, in the margins of the “Constanta Port Event Day” in Budapest, Mr. Costel Stanca, the new General Director of the Port of Constanta  hosted an Introduction Meeting with Pro Danube International and Danube Ports Network Technical Secretariat. One of the greatest accomplishments of  the meeting was the concrete demonstration of the Port of Constanta’s commitment to the DPN, which was formalised through the signature of the DPN Letter of Commitment. With with the Port of Constanta having formally joined the Network, a key milestone in the DPN’s organisational life and consolidation process was reached. In addition, Mr. Costel Stanca joins the DPN Advisory Group as a new Member.


The 2019 Horizon Transport info day will take place on Monday, 7 October in Brussels. It will present upcoming funding opportunities of approximately €356 million under the Mobility for Growth (MG), Automated Road Transport (ART), Green Vehicles (GV), and Next Generation Batteries (BAT) calls. To secure your spot, you need to register on the relevant INEA Home Page.

For more information, please consult the draft agenda.

The EU plans to go climate-neutral by 2050. So does inland shipping ! Come and discover the innovative inland vessels which have embarked on that journey and test solutions that bring pollution down too.

When : 16 October 2019

Where :  Port of Brussels

 Green Inland Shipping


Over 50 committed representatives of the DAPhNE Project partner organisations, along with representatives of relevant public and private stakeholders of the Danube port and waterborne transport community came together on 10 April 2019 in Vienna to celebrate the official launch of the Danube Ports Network (DPN).

The event took place in the context of the Danube Ports Policy Day (2nd edition) and provided a more formal opportunity to validate the key tenets of the DPN’s vision, mission and values and further strengthen the commitment of its strategic partners. Indeed, eight out of thirteen partner port organisations currently involved in the DAPhNE Project, made a tangible commitment to continue working with and for the DPN -- beyond its pilot action phase (June 2018 - June 2019). Their commitment has been formally expressed and recorded by the signature of the Danube Ports Network Letter of Commitment (LoC).

The following key strategic partners have signed the LoC and thus formalised their commitment to the DPN, namely : the Hungarian Federation of the Danube Ports (Hungary) - represented by Capt. Béla SZALMA, President, Ennshafen OÖ GmbH (Austria) - represented by Werner AUER, General Manager, Rhenus Donauhafen Krems GmbH &Co. KG (Austria) - represented by Gerhard GUSSMAGG, Managing Director, the Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (Bulgaria) - represented by Anguel ZABURTOV, Director General, the ICS Danube Logistics SRL/Giurgiulesti International Free Port (Moldova) - represented by Thomas MOSER, Director Business Development, the Port of Vukovar Authority (Croatia) - represented by Alen JAKUMETOVIC, Managing Director, the Public Ports Slovakia Jsc. (Slovakia), represented by Gabriel SZEKERES, CEO and Ing. Josef BODI, Director investment directorate, and Port Governance Agency (Serbia), represented by Vuk PEROVIC, Acting Director.

With the DPN strategic partnership formalised, we have reached another key milestone in the DPN's organisational life. Along with the operationalisation of the DPN Governance structure i.e. the formation of its 1st Advisory Group and the setting-up of the DPN Technical Secretariat -- we have taken concrete steps contributing DPN institutional consolidation and growth. All these aspects, along with an overview of key initiatives and activities of the DPN, and other specific thematic topics were further dicussed during the official launch event of the DPN.

For more information on the structure of the event and the specific topics discussed, please consult our Events section.



On 11 April 2019, Danube Ports Network organised in Vienna, its first thematic event dedicated to port digitalisation. Under the title “Danube ports in the digital age: challenges & opportunities”, this one-day conference is a step forward in our collective endeavour towards overcoming digital inertia, building confidence and know-how in the Danube Region port community.

The event gathered together relevant public and private stakeholders of the Danube Region port and waterborne (maritime and river) transport community. Around 60 participants representing relevant Danube Region port authorities and port administrations i.e. sea and river ports, port associations, shippers, logistics companies, as well as transport regulators and policy makers at national level have gathered to explore and discuss opportunities and challenges related to port digitalisation, relevant digital trends & technologies enhancing port efficiency and connectivity.

An important aim of this event was to provide a platform for senior port executives in the Danube Region to discuss key concepts and ways forward for their port organisations’ digitalisation journeys. Furthermore, the participants have benefited from a workshop run by the Port of Rotterdam discussing concrete steps on How to bring the Danube Region’s ports into the next digital maturity level”.

For more information on the structure of the event and the specific topics discussed, please consult our Events section.

6 February 2019, Enns - Danube Ports Network announces the formation of its First Advisory Group and the election of its Chair, Captain Béla Szalma, President of the Hungarian Federation of the Danube Ports (HFIP), effective today.

Danube Ports Network (DPN) announced today that it has formed an Advisory Group (AdG) to assist in further building and consolidating the capacity and identity of the Network, implementing the DPN’s current plans, as well as identifying means to capitalize on future growth opportunities. In addition, the AdG shall contribute to achieving a more dynamic, sustainable, state-of-the art network of ports in the Danube Region with a stronger and more coordinated voice at regional and EU level.

With the election of Captain Béla Szalma as Chairman, the DPN’s Advisory Group consists of 6 members, including Werner Auer, Managing Director Ennshafen, Anguel Zabourtov, Director General of the Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (BPI Co.), Gerhard Gussmagg, Managing Director Rhenus Logistics, Rhenus Donauhafen Krems, and Thomas Moser, General Director Danube Logistics SRL general investor and operator of Giurgiulesti International Free Port (GIFP). The National Company Maritime Ports Administration Constanta S.A. shall also be represented in the DPN Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group members bring a rich and useful skill set and professional experience to the DPN in its early stage of organisational development in the following areas: international business operations and shipping, port business development, strategy, financing and market analysis, and public ports governance and administration (see the attached professional biographies of the DPN AdG Members).

The Advisory Group is the decision-making body of the DPN. It is responsible for the strategic management of the network and offers overall direction and guidance. It takes decisions on the scope of work of the network (annual work program) based on proposals of the Technical Secretariat. Its structure is informal. There are no formal legal responsibilities or fiduciary duties to the DPN partners. The DPN Partner Forum is chaired by the elected chairman of the Advisory Group.

The Capitalisation Strategy designed by the Danube Transnational Programme is aimed to promote synergies between projects on similar topics (gathered under a Thematic Poles) and increase the visibility and impact of their results. Each Thematic Pole identifies the synergies among the projects within the same pole, reinforces the existing networks of relevant stakeholders and creates new ones and fills in the knowledge gaps by linking actors with complementary thematic specialization, experiences, methodological approaches or territorial relevance.

Halfway through the project, the DAPhNE consortium uniting 23 partners from 9 Danube riparian countries is delivering notable progress in all project activities, especially related to port legislation & funding, port administration & management, port development but also in relation to port strategy & port network formation.

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