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Consultation on new EU IWT policy

News > Archive > 2011 > Consultation on new EU IWT policy

The European Commission is organising a public consultation on the follow-up to the 2006-2013 NAIADES Action Programme. The European Commission is considering a follow-up in line with what is proposed in the Transport White Paper, from 2014 onwards. Stakeholder participation is requested. A first meeting was held on 5 July 2011 in Brussels. More information, click

The European Union strives to establish an updated and integrated Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) policy, also to increase the IWT share in total modal split (5,6% in 2008 - 6,4% in 1995). The policy layers for developing this policy are:
  • The 2006 NAIADES Communication (policy framework) and the NAIADES Action Programme to implement the policy from 2006-2013.
  • The 2011 EC White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system" (March 2011) and TEN-T revised Guidelines (to be published soon - focussing on six core networks and underlying comprehensive networks). 
  • The recently proposed EC Multi Annual Budget Framework proposal 2014-2020 (29 June 2011). This framework enables support for innovation and transport and ICT infrastructure developments/projects (including RIS) - appr. Euro 32 billion is proposed for EU Transport infrastructure development.
A new EU IWT policy should come into effect from 2014 onwards. A formal EC proposal is to be expected November 2011 (end of consultation September 2011). In a recent discussion paper, the EC identities as possible policy measures fort a follow-up to the NAIADES Action Programme. i.e. :
  • "Infrastructure (networks, ports) - actions aimed at ensuring adequate investment in better maintenance of the waterways (....), the full deployment of River information Services. 
  • River Information Services and their multimodal integration" an update and further development of technical specifications should be carried out, support to harmonised implementation and deployment planning, compliance and progress monitoring, operation and maintenance of reference date management , Inland ENC Register and European Position Information Server, as well as general support to RIS expert groups and a singe RIS portal."
The European Commission is especially interested to identify the raison d'être for possible new EU legislation to allow inland navigation to make better use of its potential - ensuring a sustainable implementation of its policy framework.  It should especially address "softer issues" than innovation and infrastructure (as these are already taken care of in the existing policy documents and 2014-2020 Financial Framework) like institution reform and markets. Apart from stakeholder participation, the EC is being assisted by various parties to develop its policy goals and related impact assessment.

During the stakeholder meeting on 5 July 2011, a state of play in IWTwas presented. (click