The Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor represents the backbone of the region from the Black Sea towards the very heart of the European Union, connecting the entry ports at the Black Sea, Constanta and the ports in the Danube Delta, to southern Germany and to the ports of the Rhine along one of its branches, while the other branch links the Ukrainian Slovakian border to the same Rhine ports and central European regions. All modes of transport are represented in this Corridor; however its distinctiveness stems mainly in the fact that it includes the major unspoiled river of the European Union, the Danube River, and links it to the other major river basin of the Rhine River.
International Transport Corridors always require a major coordinated effort to integrate infrastructure components derived from National and sometimes regional developments in rail, road or inland waterway legislation. In the case of this Corridor, also non-European Union legislation has to be taken into consideration since the Danube River crosses Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine and one of its main navigable tributaries; the Sava River defines the frontier between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As a river, unlike the roads and rail lines, it cannot be stopped at the border so its non-EU sections, in the above mentioned countries, have been incorporated into the corridor economy and are going to be treated as an integral part of the corridor.
While on one side there is a major environmental responsibility in using the river as an important artery of the transport system, there is also a great opportunity for the preservation of its natural habitat and the intelligent use of its water; whether that is drinkable water, water destined for irrigation purposes, energy creation or as a source of economic growth through the creation of logistics centres and the connection to the hinterland.
A balanced development of the transport logistics along the river Danube is a major aspect of the Rhine-Danube Corridor and integrates well with the other modes of transport along the same axis or along the other Czech-Slovak branch, as both branches represent major entry points to the European Union from the south east European countries.