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Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES

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Promotion of inland waterway transport ‘NAIADES’

Inland waterways can make a major contribution to a sustainable European Union transport system, reducing congestion and pollution on Europe’s roads. However, national and EU-level initiatives are needed to develop its full potential.

ACT

Communication from the Commission on the promotion of inland waterway transport ‘NAIADES’ - an integrated European action programme for inland waterway transport (COM(2006) 6 final of 17 January 2006).

SUMMARY

Inland waterways can make a major contribution to a sustainable European Union transport system, reducing congestion and pollution on Europe’s roads. However, national and EU-level initiatives are needed to develop its full potential.

WHAT DOES THE COMMUNICATION DO?

It presents an integrated strategy to make the use of inland navigation more attractive and feasible. The action programme ‘Navigation and inland waterway action and development in Europe’ (NAIADES) focuses on 5 strategic areas.

KEY POINTS

Markets: opportunities should be developed, particularly in niche areas such as the transport of waste, dangerous goods, extremely large loads and river-sea-shipping.

Fleet: continuous investment in modernisation and innovation are necessary to improve vessel design, reduce fuel consumption and improve safety technology.

Jobs and skills: better working and social conditions, allied to appropriate education and training facilities, should encourage people to work in the sector.

Image: inland navigation’s outdated image should be improved and modernised so it accurately reflects the technological performance that has been achieved.

Infrastructure: a European development plan could remove the many bottlenecks which exist such as low bridges and narrow locks. This should be accompanied by modernisation of the overall organisational structure to remove administrative hurdles.

In 2013, the Commission updated the NAIADES programme (NAIADES II), setting out specific objectives up to 2020. Its aim is to create the conditions for inland navigation to become a quality form of transport.

In 2014, the EU adopted legislation to enable governments to take measures to improve the sector’s competitiveness through early retirement schemes, wider use of innovation and training and safety programmes.

BACKGROUND

Over 37,000 kilometres of waterways and hundreds of inland ports connect many of Europe’s most important industrial areas. This network can play an important sustainable role as the volume of freight transport continues to grow.

For more information, see the European Commission Inland waterways website.

RELATED ACTS

Regulation (EU) No 546/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 718/1999 on a Community-fleet capacity policy to promote inland waterway transport (OJ L 163, 29.5.2014, pp. 15-17).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Towards quality inland waterway transport NAIADES II (COM(2013) 623 final of 10.9.2013).

Council Regulation (EC) No 718/1999 of 29 March 1999 on a Community-fleet capacity policy to promote inland waterway transport (OJ L 90, 2.4.1999, pp. 1-5).

Last updated: 30.04.2015

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