• Modal shift – moving freight transport from road to inland waterways
• Sector to be greener and more digital
• Creation of European inland waterway fund

On 29 June 2021, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament adopted a draft resolution “Towards Future-proof Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) in Europe”. It was voted on Monday 28 June, with 44 votes in favour and 3 abstentions. Now it needs to be voted by the European Parliament’s full Plenary Session, possibly after summer – in September 2021.

We have informed you about this report and the ongoing discussions already back in April (read here!).

The own-initiative report on IWT has been prepared by MEP Caroline Nagtegaal-van Doorn who took an initiative believing that in order to achieve the goals of the European Union to reduce the CO2 emissions, it will be important to unleash the full potential of the inland waterway transport. The report fully acknowledges the importance of IWT on several different fronts – whether regarding the modal shift or future energy transition.
Transport Committee MEPs call for a modal shift arguing that it would help to reduce road congestion and emissions, enhance safety and lead to a more sustainable transport system. The report also underlines potential of digitalisation and data-sharing in contributing to a reduced congestion in ports. Highlighting the need for a strategy on digital and automated technologies in IWT, Transport MEPs note that a synchromodal, connected and automated transport system must be achieved by 2035 at the latest. What is needed by the sector is on one hand, the availability of alternative fuels and propulsion methods, and on the other hand , a higher financial support to back barge owners and operators as they try to be greener and more innovative. Those continuous efforts do require a dedicated European inland waterway fund that should include an easily accessible, one-stop assistance system.

This report is complementing very well the recently published Commission’s Communication ‘NAIADES III: Boosting future-proof European inland waterway transport’ that is built up by 35 actions and 8 flagship initiatives. They are going to play an important role in the upcoming boost of inland waterway transport!


Source: European Parliament
Image source: Renew Europe Group official website, the European Parliament