POLIS organises a “Waterways and urban logistics: How can regulations better interconnect the modes?” workshop on 4 July in Brussels, at their headquarters (Rue du Trône 98, 1050 Brussels), part of the dissemination activities promoted by the EU-funded project “Smart Track 4 Waterway (ST4W)”.

Bringing goods in dense urban areas via inland waterway transport is an opportunity to reduce urban congestion and emissions, however, urban planning, delivery hours and other regulations must be adapted.

This workshop is primarily addressed to cities and administrations that would like to learn and share successes and challenges and to develop strategies that better interconnect urban multi- modal logistics.

Interested to attend the workshop? Click on the following link, by Thursday 23 June EOB.

The agenda will be circulated soon. Speakers from the EU Commission DG MOVE, Brussels Environment, MULTITEL and other relevant stakeholders will join the discussion.

INE overall welcomes the proposal for regulation.

  • With regard to inland waterways, the proposal takes into account to a large extent the needs of waterway authorities to help create a reliable and resilient network.
  • Whereas the current guidelines are more focused on increasing capacity, INE welcomes the fact that this proposal enables to improve the quality and performance of the network as well.
  • INE also welcomes the new approach by the Commission to define infrastructure requirements:
    • The chosen term ‘navigable channel depth’ is an objective infrastructure parameter which can be monitored, while the current guidelines refer to the ECMT resolution which uses vessel parameters such as ‘draught’ which depend on the type of vessels and their load factor;
    • The reference water levels on the basis of the number of days provide the possibility to take account of the hydro-morphology of waterways.

However, INE recommends to clarify and improve Section 2 on Inland waterway transport infrastructure with regard to the terminology and the procedures.

With regard to the terminology, INE has two proposals

1. The term ‘Good Navigation Status’ (art. 22.2) should not only cover the protection and the non-deterioration of the minimum infrastructure requirements and levels of services (art. 22.3(a)). The notion of Good Navigation Status should also cover the protection and the non-deterioration of the current status of the waterway network which may be higher than the minimum requirements and levels of services proposed in the legislation. The current status of the waterway network should not be left to deteriorate but be appropriately maintained.

2. The term ‘river basin’ building on the definition of the water framework directive is in our opinion not the right way forward in TEN-T and its transport corridors. On the one hand, river basins are broader and contain non-navigable sections. On the other hand, for transport, certain waterways/waterway sections located in one river basin are linked up to waterways/waterway sections located in other river basins. Moreover, canals cannot always be unequivocally allocated to a single river basin. We therefore propose that minimum requirements and levels of service (art. 22.3) and complementary minimum requirements (art. 22.5) as well as eventual exemptions (art. 22.4) are set out per European Transport Corridor. The corridor method allows a coherent approach across borders which fits into the TEN-T logic, whereby the European Transport Corridors enable Member States to achieve a coordinated and synchronised approach with regard to investment in infrastructure.

With regard to the procedures, we propose a corridor approach which allows an economic and coherent use of implementing acts. The current formulation in article 22 of the proposal for regulation could lead to 3 or more implementing act per river basin, ie one for the minimum infrastructure requirements (art. 22.3(a)), one or more for eventual exemptions (art. 22.4) and one for the complementing minimum requirements (art. 22.5). This would involve a serious administrative overload for all public stakeholders involved.

We propose the following corridor approach for the implementing acts with regard to waterways:

  • Per European Transport Corridor, there is one implementing act pursuant to art. 54(1) covering the rivers, canals and lakes in its geographic catchment area that enable at least the navigation of vessels with a length of 80-85m and a width of 9.5m.
  • This implementing act sets out he minimum infrastructure requirements and levels of services (art. 22.3(a)), eventual exemptions (art. 22.4) and the complementary minimum requirements (art. 22.5).
  • The work for inland waterways becomes part of the work plans as proposed in article 53 and a revision could take place every four years in that framework when appropriate:

In general, we would welcome an enhanced role of the coordinators to ensure a coherent planning and investment approach in the European Transport Corridors.

The Connecting Europe Days – formerly known as TEN-T Days – will be organised from 28-30 June 2022 in Lyon together with the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

They will bring together politicians, industry representatives and the European Commission to discuss transport and mobility, and their role in achieving the ambitious goals set out in the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

Participants will see state-of-the art innovations first-hand at an exhibition of EU-funded projects, demonstrations of alternative mobility vehicles and automated transport.

The following dedicated events for inland waterways & ports will take place:

  • Evening ship cruise on 28 June, with visit to port of Lyon
  • Ministerial Danube meeting on 29 June, on an electric vessel
  • Lunch cruise onboard an electric barge on the Rhône on 29 June

Register here.

The PLATINA3 – 4th Stage Event will take place on 7 & 8 June 2022 as an online event hosted by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) with English as working language.

It will provide a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, learn more about the latest developments and upcoming challenges and contribute to shaping policy of Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) in Europe.

You will be able to follow several keynote speeches by IWT specialists from the European Commission, policy makers of different horizons, and the business community, on the following themes:

  • Policy and regulatory actions encouraging and facilitating the use of IWT
  • Funding and financing the energy transition for the European IWT fleet
  • Barriers to infrastructure implementation and proposed solutions


The PLATINA3 4th stage event will be entirely designed as an online interactive event. It will enable valuable and forward-looking exchanges on major items of common interest between experts from the business sector, associations, institutions, international organisations, and other key stakeholders from the IWT community.

The official programme of the sessions is available, and registration for the event is open.

EFIP, INE and the Inland Waterway Transport sector have formulated a joint position on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation.

The main proposals from the EFIP 2020 Position Paper on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, a goal-based solution and a corridor approach, are reflected in the published AFIR proposal. By not favouring specific fuels/energy sources, the sustainable fuel market can develop following the users’ needs while the relevant infrastructure can be deployed as needed along the corridors.

In order to support the sustainable transition of the sector, the AFIR needs to go further than it does in its current wording. The statement advocates that battery, hydrogen and other sustainable fuels infrastructure are deployed along a corridor approach.

The European Commission adopted the Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1118 on the Seine – Scheldt cross-border project, part of the North Sea – Mediterranean and Atlantic Core Network Corridors in June 2019.

The signature of this implementing act reinforces the commitment of the European Commission, in agreement with the European Parliament and the Council, with the involved Member States, for the creation of the Seine-Scheldt link.

This new step forward secures the financing of the Seine-Nord Europe canal, the central link of the future network, over and above the commitments already made up to 2022.

The European Union already provides significant financial support to the Seine-Scheldt project through the Seine-Scheldt 2014-2020 financing agreement, which is part of the European Interconnection Facility (EIM), and linking the French Republic, the Flemish and Walloon Regions of Belgium and the European Agency for Infrastructure Networks (INEA). It amounts to 50% of the cost of the studies and 40% of the works.

The EU will now be able to finance up to 50% of the cost of the works The Seine-Scheldt network (1100 km long) includes the construction of the Seine-Nord Europe canal, an essential link to connect the large gauge network of Île-de-France and the ports of Rouen and Le Havre to Northern Europe and the ports of Dunkirk. It will be a powerful factor of economic development and jobs.

The Société du Canal Seine-Nord Europe, brings together the French national and local authorities and is in charge of carrying out the Seine Nord Europe Canal project.

The 5th edition of Danube Business Talks, the business platform for Danube navigation, takes place on 12 and 13 October 2022 in Linz.

This year’s motto: Green Deal – Green Danube : The climate friendly transport axis.

  • How can inland navigation contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the European transport sector?
  • Which climate friendly propulsion technologies and fuels will play an important role in inland navigation in the future?
  • The shift of high & heavy transports to the Danube will be examined in more detail
  • Sustainable travelling will be the focus with regard to passenger shipping.

Danube Business Talks offer private and public stakeholders an opportunity for targeted networking and knowledge exchange on economic impulses and innovations in the field of Danube navigation. The climate and environmental protection goals of the Austrian Federal Government provide a favourable framework for the development of cross-border solutions to strengthen the Danube transport axis in the European transport network.

In addition to the international exchange between companies, public authorities and political decision makers, the B2B platform Danube Business Dating will provide once again opportunities for establishing new business contacts.

The agenda and speakers’ list are available. “Danube Dialogue” on day 1 can be joined via livestream – no other programme items will be broadcast.

Register here. Participation is free of charge, but registration for both physical and online participation is mandatory.

POLIS organises a “Waterways and urban logistics: How can regulations better interconnect the modes?” workshop on 4 July in Brussels, at their headquarters (Rue du Trône 98, 1050 Brussels), part of the dissemination activities promoted by the EU-funded project “Smart Track 4 Waterway (ST4W)”.

Bringing goods in dense urban areas via inland waterway transport is an opportunity to reduce urban congestion and emissions, however, urban planning, delivery hours and other regulations must be adapted.

This workshop is primarily addressed to cities and administrations that would like to learn and share successes and challenges and to develop strategies that better interconnect urban multi- modal logistics.

Interested to attend the workshop? Click on the following link, by Thursday 23 June EOB.

The agenda will be circulated soon. Speakers from the EU Commission DG MOVE, Brussels Environment, MULTITEL and other relevant stakeholders will join the discussion.

INE overall welcomes the proposal for regulation.

  • With regard to inland waterways, the proposal takes into account to a large extent the needs of waterway authorities to help create a reliable and resilient network.
  • Whereas the current guidelines are more focused on increasing capacity, INE welcomes the fact that this proposal enables to improve the quality and performance of the network as well.
  • INE also welcomes the new approach by the Commission to define infrastructure requirements:
    • The chosen term ‘navigable channel depth’ is an objective infrastructure parameter which can be monitored, while the current guidelines refer to the ECMT resolution which uses vessel parameters such as ‘draught’ which depend on the type of vessels and their load factor;
    • The reference water levels on the basis of the number of days provide the possibility to take account of the hydro-morphology of waterways.

However, INE recommends to clarify and improve Section 2 on Inland waterway transport infrastructure with regard to the terminology and the procedures.

With regard to the terminology, INE has two proposals

1. The term ‘Good Navigation Status’ (art. 22.2) should not only cover the protection and the non-deterioration of the minimum infrastructure requirements and levels of services (art. 22.3(a)). The notion of Good Navigation Status should also cover the protection and the non-deterioration of the current status of the waterway network which may be higher than the minimum requirements and levels of services proposed in the legislation. The current status of the waterway network should not be left to deteriorate but be appropriately maintained.

2. The term ‘river basin’ building on the definition of the water framework directive is in our opinion not the right way forward in TEN-T and its transport corridors. On the one hand, river basins are broader and contain non-navigable sections. On the other hand, for transport, certain waterways/waterway sections located in one river basin are linked up to waterways/waterway sections located in other river basins. Moreover, canals cannot always be unequivocally allocated to a single river basin. We therefore propose that minimum requirements and levels of service (art. 22.3) and complementary minimum requirements (art. 22.5) as well as eventual exemptions (art. 22.4) are set out per European Transport Corridor. The corridor method allows a coherent approach across borders which fits into the TEN-T logic, whereby the European Transport Corridors enable Member States to achieve a coordinated and synchronised approach with regard to investment in infrastructure.

With regard to the procedures, we propose a corridor approach which allows an economic and coherent use of implementing acts. The current formulation in article 22 of the proposal for regulation could lead to 3 or more implementing act per river basin, ie one for the minimum infrastructure requirements (art. 22.3(a)), one or more for eventual exemptions (art. 22.4) and one for the complementing minimum requirements (art. 22.5). This would involve a serious administrative overload for all public stakeholders involved.

We propose the following corridor approach for the implementing acts with regard to waterways:

  • Per European Transport Corridor, there is one implementing act pursuant to art. 54(1) covering the rivers, canals and lakes in its geographic catchment area that enable at least the navigation of vessels with a length of 80-85m and a width of 9.5m.
  • This implementing act sets out he minimum infrastructure requirements and levels of services (art. 22.3(a)), eventual exemptions (art. 22.4) and the complementary minimum requirements (art. 22.5).
  • The work for inland waterways becomes part of the work plans as proposed in article 53 and a revision could take place every four years in that framework when appropriate:

In general, we would welcome an enhanced role of the coordinators to ensure a coherent planning and investment approach in the European Transport Corridors.

The Connecting Europe Days – formerly known as TEN-T Days – will be organised from 28-30 June 2022 in Lyon together with the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

They will bring together politicians, industry representatives and the European Commission to discuss transport and mobility, and their role in achieving the ambitious goals set out in the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

Participants will see state-of-the art innovations first-hand at an exhibition of EU-funded projects, demonstrations of alternative mobility vehicles and automated transport.

The following dedicated events for inland waterways & ports will take place:

  • Evening ship cruise on 28 June, with visit to port of Lyon
  • Ministerial Danube meeting on 29 June, on an electric vessel
  • Lunch cruise onboard an electric barge on the Rhône on 29 June

Register here.

The Urban Mobility Days 2022 will be held on 20-22 September in the city of Brno, Czech Republic and jointly organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility & Transport (DG MOVE) and the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.

This year’s theme is ‘Moving people and goods more sustainably’. Cities face critical challenges on the path to sustainable mobility, yet they also hold the keys to action. More than 70% of Europeans live in cities, and urban areas account for around 23% of the EU’s GHG transport emissions. At the same time, European cities are home to some of the most innovative and bold solutions for both passenger and freight transit.

For more information, visit the website.

The PLATINA3 – 4th Stage Event will take place on 7 & 8 June 2022 as an online event hosted by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) with English as working language.

It will provide a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, learn more about the latest developments and upcoming challenges and contribute to shaping policy of Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) in Europe.

You will be able to follow several keynote speeches by IWT specialists from the European Commission, policy makers of different horizons, and the business community, on the following themes:

  • Policy and regulatory actions encouraging and facilitating the use of IWT
  • Funding and financing the energy transition for the European IWT fleet
  • Barriers to infrastructure implementation and proposed solutions


The PLATINA3 4th stage event will be entirely designed as an online interactive event. It will enable valuable and forward-looking exchanges on major items of common interest between experts from the business sector, associations, institutions, international organisations, and other key stakeholders from the IWT community.

The official programme of the sessions is available, and registration for the event is open.

The third PLATINA3 Stage Event – the Brussels sessions – took place as a virtual meeting on 10 and 11 February 2022.

Over 120 IWT policy-makers of different horizons, professionals from demand and supply side, interested NGOs, research and academic experts participated to discuss the following themes:

  • Inland waterway transport preparing to adapt to a changing climate
  • Modal shift and decarbonisation
  • Towards an EU emission label and energy index for vessels
  • The regulatory pathway towards a zero-emission fleet

Presentations and meeting videos are available on the platina3.eu website.

This event was a collaboration between PLATINA3 partners and hosted by Inland Navigation Europe (INE).

EFIP, INE and the Inland Waterway Transport sector have formulated a joint position on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation.

The main proposals from the EFIP 2020 Position Paper on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, a goal-based solution and a corridor approach, are reflected in the published AFIR proposal. By not favouring specific fuels/energy sources, the sustainable fuel market can develop following the users’ needs while the relevant infrastructure can be deployed as needed along the corridors.

In order to support the sustainable transition of the sector, the AFIR needs to go further than it does in its current wording. The statement advocates that battery, hydrogen and other sustainable fuels infrastructure are deployed along a corridor approach.

INE presents a special edition to celebrate 20 years of INE, in which we look back as well as forward.

20 years ago our first initiatives focused on a dedicated action programme for inland waterway transport and more inland waterways in TEN-T. Today our work is centered on creating fit-for-future infrastructure covering the physical, digital and green energy network.

Founded by 5 members in 2000, INE today counts 17 members from 14 countries which shows the increasing interest in inland waterways across Europe.

The Commission adopted the long awaited Naiades action plan for 2021-2027. It is the follow-up to the 2nd Naiades action programme that ended in 2020. The EU Naiades action plan provides the EU framework to support the development of inland waterway transport. The new action plan fully incorporates the EU Green Deal objectives and the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy, and aims as such to boost future proof inland waterway transport. Inland waterway transport is considered as an essential tool in the fundamental transformation of the EU transport systems towards zero-emission and multi-modal mobility.

8 Flagships and 35 actions

The two core objectives are:

  • shifting more freight transport to inland waterways
  • setting the sector on an irreversible path to zero-emissions.

These objectives are underpinned by a paradigm shift towards further digitalisation and support to the current and future workforce. Meeting these core objectives will require an integrated approach and a basket of measures incorporating transport, environmental, digital, energy and fiscal policies, backed up with financial incentives. The measures are categorised in 8 flagships and 35 actions. The measures are categorised in 8 flagships and 35 actions.

Modal shift

The EU action plan builds on the EU Green Deal objective to set out decisive action to shift a substantial part of the freight transport to sustainable and less congested transport modes. Inland waterway transport and short-sea shipping volumes should increase by 25% by 2030 and by 50% by 2050. INE is pleased to see the Commission takes the angle of multi-modal logistics within and beyond urban areas in this respect. This will be fully addressed in the revision of the combined transport directive.

Infrastructure

The Commission attaches special attention to fit-for-future infrastructure to optimise navigation, which INE has recommended with its concept for achieving fit-for-future waterways. INE looks forward to the dedicated cooperation framework for inland waterway transport within the revision of the TEN-T Regulation, which will enable Member States to better coordinate cross-border actions and projects. In the revision of TEN-T, the future minimum requirements and the definition of Good Navigation Status will reflect the heterogeneous hydro-morphology and allow a certain degree of flexibility. With regard to the climate proofing guidance, we hope it will ensure an adequate dovetailing of climate and environmental objectives.

Digital transformation

Through the Connecting Europe Facility, the Commission will support measures that help to improve the digital information base of the actual status of the critical waterway locations. Next to the ongoing development of smart infrastructure for better infrastructure management, INE is happy to note that the Directive on River Information Services of 2005 will be finally revised by 2022 and that the Commission will facilitate the elaboration of a holistic view for the sector’s digitalisation and automation. INE refers to its Common Multi-modal Framework for Digitalisation since modal shift requires a multi-modal approach to digitalisation

Green energy

INE is pleased to see that the Commission considers inland ports as key hubs for sustainable mobility and industry, clean energy and circular economy development in a network approach. The transition to a zero-emission fleet is a necessary but tedious task. Next to the legislative measures to help support the business case, it is positive that the upcoming revision of the EU state aid regime will also cover inland waterway transport. Nevertheless, significant financial means from European instruments will be necessary to leverage industry investments and to address the current investment gap towards zero-emission.

Next week, the European Parliament will adopt in the transport committee its own-initiative report on inland waterway transport. The policy recommendations in its draft report are going in the same line of the Commission calling for strong ambition in EU waterway transport policy. We are pleased to see that it calls upon the Commission to mobilise sufficient internal resources to bring the implementation of the new Naiades action programme to a good end.

The implementation of the Naiades action programme is also supported by the PLATINA3 project. The EU-funded PLATINA3 project provides targeted coordination and support activities to promote inland waterway transport (IWT) in Europe and will make the bridge towards future research, innovation and implementation needs within IWT in Europe.