The Tisza River Basin is one of Europe’s most picturesque regions. Mountain streams, meandering rivers and diverse floodplains are characteristic of this region. It is also home to a unique mayfly species, the Tisza Flower (Palingenia longicauda), which is only found on the rivers of the plains of the Carpathian Basin.
Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Serbia share the beauties of the Tisza River Basin and are also aware of the area’s problems related to water supply, flooding, droughts, landslides and erosion, plus pollution from industry, mining and agriculture. These problems are influencing water quality and quantity, along with the management of land and water.
At the first ministerial meeting of the ICPDR countries held in December 2004, ministers and high-level representatives of the five Tisza countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding, establishing the ICPDR Tisza Group for coordination as well as implementation of an international integrated Tisza River Basin cooperation under the umbrella of the ICPDR. The ICPDR Tisza Group held its first meeting in 2005 and has been meeting regularly since then. It strengthens coordination and information exchange in the Tisza River Basin and ensures harmonisation and effectiveness of related efforts. The elaboration of the first Tisza River Basin Management Plan was started in 2005, the plan was adopted in 2010 and endorsed at a ministerial meeting in 2011.
In 2019, the Tisza countries prepared a sub-basin plan - the revised Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan Update 2019 - within the framework of the JOINTISZA project. This plan integrates issues on water quality and water quantity, land and water management, flood, climate change and drought, and urban hydrology.
Tisza Group, Memorandum of Understanding (2019) (1.53 MB) "Strengthening of Tisza River Basin cooperation: Towards the implementation of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan supporting the sustainable development of the region"
Tisza Group, Memorandum of Understanding (2011) (135.06 KB) "Strengthening of Tisza River Basin cooperation: Towards the implementation of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan supporting the sustainable development of the region"
Tisza Group, Memorandum of Understanding (2004) (40.08 KB) "Strengthening of Tisza River Basin cooperation: Towards the implementation of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan supporting the sustainable development of the region"
Covering an area of 157,186 km², the Tisza River Basin is the largest sub-basin of the Danube River Basin. The Tisza River is the longest tributary of the Danube (966 km), and second largest in terms of flow after the Sava. The countries of the Tisza Basin (Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia) agreed to close transboundary co-operation, aiming to achieve integrated water resources management of the Basin.
Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary share the responsibility for the Tisza river basin and undertook jointly activities towards the implementation of the EU Water Freamwork Directive and the EU Flood Directive. These efforts were supported by the European Union in the frame of the TISAR 2007 and led to good results.
The Tisza Basin has been subject to significant anthropogenic impacts that have resulted in a degraded system, particularly in terms of pollution and the loss of floodplains and wetlands. The present project is focusing on the development of strategies and implementation of demo project to test the multiple environmental benefits of wetlands to mitigate impacts of floods/droughts and help to reduce nutrient pollution.