While Observers are not granted decision-making rights, they actively participate in all meetings of ICPDR expert groups and task groups, as well as plenary meetings (Standing Working Group and Ordinary Meetings). Observers represent a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the Danube River Basin, covering social, cultural, economic and environmental interest groups adhering to the goals of the Convention. The connective tissue between observers and the ICPDR is a shared ‘community responsibility’, essential to achieving long-term sustainable water management goals.
Institutionally, Observers can include interest groups, non-government organisations (NGOs), and intergovernmental organisations (see list below). Observers are accepted upon approval of the ICPDR and have to meet a defined set of criteria laid down in “IC 185 Guidelines for Observers”.
As of today, there are 24 organisations approved as observers, all of which had the opportunity to contribute to the development of this management plan through the relevant expert groups, task groups and plenary meetings.
Active participation means that delegates of observers have both access to information including all technical meeting documents as well as the right to contribute to all technical discussions. Observers are only excluded from administrative and legal issues of the ICPDR. Observer delegates do not have a vote in meetings. However, especially at the level of expert groups and task groups, votes take place only rarely as the groups work towards consensus through discussions.
Organisations with observer status in the ICPDR:
- Black Sea Commission (BSC)
- Carpathian Convention
- Central Dredging Association (CEDA)
- Danube Civil Society Forum (DCSF)
- Danube Competence Center (DCC)
- Danube Commission (DC)
- Danube Environmental Forum (DEF)
- Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF)
- Danube Tourist Commission (DIE DONAU)
- European Anglers Alliance (EAA)
- European Barge Union (EBU)
- European Water Association (EWA)
- Friends of Nature International (NFI)
- Global Water Partnership (GWP-CEE)
- International Association for Danube Research (IAD)
- International Association of Water Service Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD)
- International Hydrological Programme of the UNESCO (IHP/Danube)
- International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC)
- RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands
- Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)
- VGB PowerTech e.V. (VGB)
- World Wide Fund for Nature – Danube-Carpathian Programme (WWF-DCP)
Guidelines for Observers (48.56 KB) Guidelines for Observers to the ICPDR.
ICPDR Organigram (35.57 KB) Structure of the ICPDR including Permanent Secretariat, Expert Groups and Task Groups.