Parliamentary questions
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21 March 2017
Question for oral answer O-000021/2017
to the Commission
Rule 128
Maria Grapini, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Daniel Buda, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Traian Ungureanu, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Mihai Ţurcanu, Iuliu Winkler, Ivan Štefanec, Csaba Sógor, Victor Boştinaru, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Viorica Dăncilă, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Sorin Moisă, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Dan Nica, Victor Negrescu, Claudia Țapardel, Andi Cristea, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Emilian Pavel, Boris Zala, Sergei Stanishev, Tibor Szanyi, Monika Smolková, Biljana Borzan, István Ujhelyi, Peter Kouroumbashev, Georgi Pirinski, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Mircea Diaconu, Ivan Jakovčić, Stelios Kouloglou, Merja Kyllönen, Tania González Peñas, Laurenţiu Rebega

 Subject: Clearing the Danube of sunken ships

Flowing through 10 countries, the Danube is the second longest river in Europe. In terms of interest on the European stage and political objectives, it is one of the pan-European corridors.

On the stretch of the Danube that flows through Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia the water level often drops, on account of drought, and ships are forced to navigate through sunken shipwrecks.

Raising sunken wrecks in the Danube is a very expensive operation. According to experts, sunken wrecks contain appreciable amounts of fuel and other substances that pollute water constantly, while the rusting metal of the ships generates pollution on a continuous basis with serious repercussions.

Wrecks that have sunk in the Danube and those stranded in the Danube Delta have always been a problem, not only for environmental authorities, but also for transport ministries.

Is the Commission willing to allocate funds for clearing sunken ships from the Danube, given that the countries through which it passes lack sufficient funds for these costly operations, and bearing in mind the boost that increased navigation on the river and the growth of river transport in the internal market could deliver for regional development?

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