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European Council

In June 2006, the EU Transport Council urged the EU Member States “to provide adequate infrastructure by improving the multi-modal network and by implementing River Information Services on those inland waterways within the scope of EU RIS Directive (2005/44/EC)”.

The Council also invited the EU Member States “to actively develop projects that promote viable inland waterway transport services, including projects supported by Community programmes such as TEN-T (Trans European Network-Transport)”. The European Commission was requested “to insert RIS as part of the Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) of TEN-T” (now CEF - Connecting Europe Facility).

European Commission

The “Transport Policy for 2010: time to decide" concludes that the use of high capacity navigation information systems will greatly improve reliability and efficiency of inland navigation as a transport mode.

The mid-term revision of the White Paper by the EC in June 2006, pointed out the necessity to

  • “continue implementation of intelligent mobility programs for waterborne transport (RIS)” and to
  • “start the implementation of the European Action Plan on the Promotion of Inland Waterway Transport (NAIADES)”.
Cornerstone of the EU policy on inland waterways transport is the Communication of NAIADES I in 2006 and NAIADES II in 2013.

The NAIADES policy pursues the implementation of River Information Services as one of the key measures to provide adequate transport infrastructure including information technologies.

RIS Committee (comitology)

The European Commission (EC) has installed the RIS Committee, an advisory Committee, in line with Council directive 91/672/EEC, Decision 1999/468/EC and in accordance with Article 11 of the RIS directive 2005/44/EC.
The RIS Committee assists – under the comitology procedure - the European Commission on the:
  • development of the RIS guidelines and technical specifications,
  • amendments of the annexes of the RIS directive,
  • implementation of River Information Services in the EU Member States.
The RIS directive provides the basis for the development of Implementing Regulations related to technical specifications for four the RIS key technologies, namely the Inland ECDIS, NtS, ERI and Vessel Tracking and Tracing systems.

EU and RIS Expert Groups

In order to further develop and update the specifications (the Implementing Regulations) the RIS expert groups voluntarily provide proposals in the areas of standardization, harmonization and maintenance of the RIS technologies.

These Expert Groups operate as a non-governmental, independent body of advising experts (a platform) without any legal status.