In 1999, transport on the river was made difficult by the NATO bombing of three bridges in Serbia during the Kosovo War.

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Once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, the river passes through or touches the borders of 10 countries: Romania (29.0% of basin area), Hungary (11.6%), Serbia (10.2%), Austria (10.0%), Germany (7.0%), Bulgaria (5.9%), Slovakia (5.9%), Croatia (4.4%), Ukraine (3.8%), and Moldova (1.6%).

In addition to the bordering countries (see above), the drainage basin includes parts of nine more countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.6%), the Czech Republic (2.9%), Slovenia (2.0%), Montenegro (0.9%), Switzerland (0.2%), Italy ( The land drained by the Danube extends into many other countries.

Its goal is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention by promoting and coordinating sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, improvement and rational use of waters and the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

The Danube Commission is concerned with the maintenance and improvement of the river's navigation conditions.

The Danube Delta is also the best preserved river Delta in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1991) and a Ramsar Site.

Its lakes and marshes support 45 freshwater fish species.

The Transdanubian Mountains lie on the right bank (left side of the picture), while the North Hungarian Mountains on the left bank (right side of the picture).

Adakale Island in the Danube was forgotten during the peace talks at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, which allowed it to remain a de jure Turkish territory and the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II's private possession until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 (de facto until Romania unilaterally declared its sovereignty on the island in 1919 and further strengthened this claim with the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.) The Danube is navigable by ocean ships from the Black Sea to Brăila in Romania and by river ships to Kelheim, Bavaria, Germany; smaller craft can navigate further upstream to Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. Since the completion of the German Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina on the Black Sea, a distance of 3,500 km (2,200 mi).

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an organization consisting of 14 member states (Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine) and the European Union.