Naiades programme for post-COVID growth

12 May 2020

As an answer to the current COVID-19 crisis and another expected low-water period, Inland Navigation Europe, together with the European Barge Union, European Federation of Inland Ports, European Skippers Organisation, European Transport Federation and Inland Waterway Transport Platform, call upon the Commission to swiftly prepare a strong future-oriented Naiades action programme 2021-2027, building on the Green Deal as an underlying growth strategy to stimulate the economy, create jobs while accelerating green, smart inland shipping and ports.

The EU Green Deal will help accelerate the green transition and boost climate resilience. The sector is fully committed to the objectives of climate neutrality by 2050 and a growing demand for a new green economy will open up opportunities for a durable modal shift.

To succeed in both, a strong policy framework is required to provide legal certainty and a stable and forward-looking investment environment for Europe’s industry. This should be paired with the inland shipping and ports’ sectors to tap into the European Green Deal Investment Plan, boosting a green recovery and a just transition.

By scaling up investments and smart connections between sustainable multimodal mobility, renewable energy, circular economy and climate resilience, inland shipping will be fit-for-future and provide a much needed added value for Europe’s economy and society.

Inland waterway transport and port organisations also call upon the Commission

  • to make inland waterway transport and ports full part of the post-COVID-19 recovery plan
  • to take demand-based measures that relaunch the economy on a Green Deal footing so trade and transport flows return.

Finally, the cooperation of authorities at all levels is critical for safe and continuous services on board and on shore. the organisations call upon the Commission, Member States and the relevant intergovernmental commissions to coordinate actions.

The impact of the pandemic on the sector has been very severe and is expected to be felt long after the sanitary crisis comes to an end. In addition, it comes on top of low-water periods.

Naiades programme for post-COVID growth

Transport by water