Transport by water

Naiades 3 (2021-2027)

The Naiades action programme for the period 2021-2027, released in June 2021, builds upon the European Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy and the ‘Strategic Inland Waterway Transport agenda for Europe’ recommendations of the Naiades expert implementation group, initiated by INE and the European Green Deal. It sets out the lines for more freight transport to inland waterways, towards zero-emission and smart shipping as well as an attractive social and professional working environment.

The action plan counts 35 actions covering specific inland waterway transport measures and general transport measures such as TEN-T, combined transport, alternative refueling and state aid, that underpin the goal of shifting more freight to inland shipping, while working towards a zero emission and digital transport mode. Within the Naiades implementation expert group, the Commission, Member States, River Commissions and sector monitor and assist with the implementation of the action plan, with the support of the Platina3 project. INE is member of the Commission expert group and partner in the Platina 3 project.

What is NAIADES and why is it important?

  • The EU waterway transport policy aiming for a better use of inland shipping to relieve congested transport corridors and assist the sector with becoming a zero emission and climate resilient transport.
  • The EU action programme to develop waterway transport. The 1st Naiades programme ran from 2006 until 2013, the 2nd from 2014 until 2020 and the 3rd and current one from 2021 until 2027.
  • Waterway transport is supported through the funding and financing programmes Connecting Europe Facility, Horizon Europe, LIFE, the Innovation Fund, the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the EU Structural and Investment Funds.

The Platina 3 project

The EU-funded PLATINA3 project provides coordination and support activities to prepare policies. Its main objective is to provide the knowledge base on the following topics:

• Integration & digitalization of inland waterway transport in view of modal shift and synchromodality;
• Zero-emission, automated and climate resilient fleet;
• Skilled workforce anticipating to zero-emission and automation;
• Smart and climate resilient waterway and port infrastructure with clean energy hubs.

This happens in close cooperation with all public and private stakeholders. The project organises regularly stage events in which work is presented and exchange is facilitated providing input for further work.

Started in January 2021, the project ends in June 2023. The work is expected to be continued with a successor project co-financed by the Horizon Europe Programme.

EU targets

• Revision of Urban Mobility Package with better use of inland waterways into cities
• Proposal for e-Documents for inland crew & vessels

• Revision of RIS directive
• Revision of the combined transport directive

• Automated mobility will be deployed at large scale
• Zero-emission vessels will become ready for market
• Transport by inland waterways & shortsea up by 25%

• Transport by inland waterways & shortsea up by 50%

Priorities for INE

The priorities for INE are the actions and tools that assist waterway authorities with carrying out their mission, such as:

  • instruments for modal shift such as the revision of the Combined Transport Directive and State aid Guidelines (and the inclusion of inland waterway transport in the revision of the railway state aid guidelines), as well as measures that support the transition towards zero-emission operations;
  • a European roadmap for the digital transformation of inland waterway transport and the interoperability with other modes;
  • a policy that contributes to make waterway infrastructure reliable and climate resilient for waterway transport in harmony with other waterway functions.