The River Danube has been a link between Central and Eastern Europe for ages. After the breakdown of the iron curtain new chances for political, economic and cultural development appeared. In regard to water protection the Danube catchment is closely linked to the Black Sea. In order to fulfil the task of water protection different strategies are discussed, based on EU water policy on the one hand and the experience gained from central European development which has a long tradition in solving the problems of multinational river basins on the other. The conclusion is that the success will very much depend on convincing all countries in the basin that water protection is a local, regional, national and international task which needs close co-operation of politicians, economists, engineers and natural scientists at all levels of administration, education and operation. Universities and professional associations will play an important role. The Danube Protection Commission (ICPDR) will have the difficult task of establishing confidence between the countries and to develop a common strategy adapted to the special conditions in the Danube catchment.

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