- On November 4, 1856, in Galați, the works of the first meeting of the newly established European Commission of the Danube were opened.
After the end of the Crimean War (1853-1856), the Treaty of Paris was signed on March 30, 1856, which mentions the recapture of the Delta by the Turks, and its northern border with Russia became the Chilia arm.
So the problem of navigating the Danube was raised. The world’s leaders have proposed and adopted the establishment of a commission to do so. Therefore, the CED was established in 1856. It began its activity in Galați on November 4 of that year, when the representatives of the seven powers, designated as members, met in the Treaty of Paris. Present in Galați are the following: Baron Bitter (Prussia), Baron Henric Henricovici d ‘Offenberg (Russia) Major John Stokes (Great Britain), General Omer Pasha (Ottoman Empire), Consul Edouard Philippe Engelhardt (France), Knight Von Becke (Austria) ) and the Marquis D Aste (Sardinia). The president of the CED at the time was Sir John Stokes (1820-1902), an experienced engineer.
It is also interesting that the structure had to operate for two years, but its existence was a total of 82 years. The CED was the first, and for a long time the only international body, with extensive administrative and judicial powers over the vessels, crews and passengers on the river, being the de facto sovereign of the Danube waters (source – Diplomatic Archives Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Article XVI of the Treaty of Paris is practically the birth certificate of the ECHR:
“In order to meet the objectives of the preceding article, a Commission, in which the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Prussia, Sardinia and Turkey shall each have a representative, shall be responsible for designating and carrying out the work required to be carried out downstream by Isaccea. cleaning of the mouths of the Danube and the surrounding seas, sand and other obstacles that obstruct these areas, so that the whole area is brought in the best condition for navigation. In order to cover all the expenses related to these works and those for securing and facilitating navigation at the mouth of the Danube, obligations and responsibilities, decided by the Commission by a majority of votes, are set, provided there is mutual respect, so that all flags nations to be treated on an equal footing ”.
The economic and social development of the Lower Danube area was possible due to the existence and activity of the Commission.
The CED would end its existence, de jure, with the signing of the Sinaia Agreement, of August 18, 1938, the final completion of its activity being recorded in 1939.
Photo source: Dobrogea Documentary Fund of Yesterday and Today ZIUA de Constanța
Sulina, story files (VI) – Treaty of Paris (March 30, 1856) and the establishment of the European Danube Commission (ECHR)