Acta Universitatis Danubius. Relationes Internationales, Vol 12, No 2 (2019)

Divides or connects? The Danube as an international border and watercourse in history

Zoltán Huszár, Péter Várnagy, Éva Szederkényi


Being the second longest river of Europe (the longest one is the Volga) the 2850 km long Danube connects different geographical, economic, political regions with various ethnic, religious, historical background. Touching 10 states it collects the waters of 14 countries in its 817 km2 drainage basin and provides the connection with the seas for the countries of the continent. It is an important international watercourse which creates a natural link between the West and the East inside Europe. It has been so for more than 2000 years, having advantages and sometimes disadvantages, too.

The geographical importance of the Danube has always been tremendous throughout history, at the same time it has always played an important role concerning cultural-historic aspects. Since the end of the 20th century, the Rhein-Maine-Danube canal and international watercourse with its 3500 navigable lengths create a unique opportunity for the countries it connects. All this enjoys an important priority in the Danube-region strategy of the EU. 

The authors of the study provide a short historical outline of the role the Danube has played in Europe with special emphasis on the 19-20th centuries, concerning international legal aspects as well.


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