Craiova, Romania, May 14-15, 2024 – The 18th General Assembly of EDINNA was held at the University of Craiova, commemorating 15 years of dedicated service to the education and training in the inland navigation sector. Under the theme “EDINNA: 15 Years Past and Future,” the conference highlighted key developments and future directions in education, training, and policies in inland navigation.

Fulvio Esposito, Communication Officer at the IWT Platform, presented an overview of current initiatives and ongoing work in the social and education domains.

Virginia Oganesian from the Danube Commission presented the participation of the Danube Commission in projects like GRENDEL, Platina3, and Platina4Action, as well as technical assistance grants for sustainable and interconnected mobility on the TEN-T Rhine-Danube Corridor. Virginia also addressed the implementation of Directive (EU) 2017/2397, which involves coordination and assistance to member states and establishes transitory measures for crew document recognition until January 17, 2032. Her presentation provided a comprehensive overview of educational institutions and training programs within the Danube region.

Jan Smallegange from STC provided an update on the 1System4IWT Erasmus + project, detailing various initiatives STC has been involved in, including COMPETING, PLATINA3 WP 3 Jobs & Skills, and the ongoing PLATINA4ACTION project. He placed particular focus on the 1 System 4IWT Learning initiative, which has been running since Q4 2022, highlighting its methodology and current state of play.

A notable moment of the assembly was the heartfelt farewell to Arjen Mintjes from Maritieme Academie Holland. His unwavering commitment and significant contributions as the president of EDINNA have laid a strong foundation for the future development of inland navigation training and education in Europe. The participants expressed their deep gratitude for his leadership, which has greatly strengthened the sector.

Succeeding Arjen Mintjes, Gabriel Benga, Professor at the University of Craiova, was appointed as the new president of EDINNA. His appointment marks a new chapter for the organization, and his leadership is anticipated to drive further advancements in inland navigation education.

The assembly also reconfirmed several key board members, acknowledging their ongoing contributions:

Harm Bergsma, STC Group.

Meeuwis Van Wirdum, Maritieme Academie Harlingen.

Angelika Voit, Schiffer-Berufkollege Rhein.

Ingrid Vermeir, GO! Scheepvaartschool.

Pascal Roland, Ecole de Batellerie de Huy.

Vasile Pipirigeanu, CERONAV.

EDINNA will continue in its mission to play a crucial role in ensuring a highly skilled workforce capable of meeting the challenges and opportunities of the future.