Naiades II package released <

Tuesday 10 Sep 2013 / Gerelateerde tags: Policy EU Transport 

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The European Commission has today launched a second action plan aimed at moving more freight transport onto Europe’s waterways. With this plan the Commission provides continuity for the previous Naiades 2006-2013 programme.

Continuity for European inland waterway policy is important. Even more, in times of crisis, we need ambition”. says Karin De Schepper, director of Inland Navigation Europe. “Today traffic jams already cost 130 billion euros a year or 1% of the EU GDP. The EU wants to reduce this impressive number by moving 30% of road traffic to alternative modes by 2030 and 50% by 2050.”

The EC Naiades II package outlines how to get there for waterway transport. The priorities focus on shifting freight to waterway transport and reducing emissions.

Inland Navigation Europe praises the EC ambition for a European quality inland waterway network well integrated in the overall infrastructure net. Hopefully, the Member States will be equally ambitious to realise the plans, as infrastructure remains a national competence. High-quality infrastructure is a corner stone for waterway transport development. Thanks to a proactive and integrated infrastructure policy, Belgium for instance has increased the modal share of waterway transport from 11% in 2001 to 18% in 2010.

The EC commitment to uniform technical and professional standards to replace the variety of different standards under different legal regimes is also very positive, as it will definitely increase transparency.

The emission reduction approach unfortunately misses ambition. The Commission is correct in its analysis of air pollution and the adequate solutions to tackle it. However, it falls short by not presenting a comprehensive action package of legal and financial measures to make quick progress and achieve a broad gain for society . “We really risk losing precious time, greening the fleet provides a competitive and long-term advantage to get out of the crisis.”

Another missed chance is the integration of information streams with logistics. River Information Services (RIS) now mainly organise data exchange for the purpose of public safety and traffic management but could very well be expanded for logistics use, helping to optimize cargo flows driving down the costs and carbon footprint of the entire transport system. This requires amending the RIS directive which is currently not in the EC planning.

Finally, the Commission remains very vague about the human and financial resources to implement the Naiades 2 programme.“Here, we are right back at the root of the problem with the 1st Naiades action plan, which the Commission itself acknowledged lacked dedicated resources for an effective implementation. We should know better now, it simply is impossible to reap without sowing”.

EC Naiades Communication
EC Naiades II webpage
Inland waterway transport in figures
EC Naiades press release

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A European waterway development action plan.