International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013

Tisza River Basin Cooperation

The Tisza River Basin shared by 5 countries is the largest sub-basin in the Danube River Basin, covering 157,186 km² or 19.5% of the Danube Basin. Together with its tributaries, the Tisza River drains the largest catchment area in the Carpathian Mountains before flowing through the Great Hungarian Plain and joining the Danube River.

The International Commission for the Danube River Basin (ICPDR) established the Tisza Group for coordination as well as implementation of basin-wide cooperation based on a Memorandum of Understanding. The Tisza Group is the platform for strengthening coordination and information exchange related to international, regional and national activities in the Tisza River Basin and to ensure harmonization and effectiveness of related efforts.

The work is being carried out since 2004 in the frame of the ICPDR Tisza Group with the involvement of all five countries from the Tisza River Basin and the European Union (EU). The work is supported by the ICPDR Experts groups, observers (NGOs, stakeholders), EU, Global Environment Fund (GEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funds.

Tisza River Sub-basin overview map.
Tisza River Sub-basin overview map.

Source: International Commission for the Danube River Basin (ICPDR).

The ICPDR serves as the platform for coordination in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive on issues of Danube Basin-wide importance and coordinates the elaboration of a Tisza River Basin Management Plan through its Tisza Group. Transboundary issues not covered by the ICPDR are solved at the appropriate level of cooperation such as in the frame of bilateral river committees/international agreements.

Local/regional issues remain a national task. Coordination efforts, conducted mainly through the respective Ministries responsible for water and environment issues, have been largely directed at inter-ministerial coordination.