The European IWT Platform conducted a fact-finding mission in Romania on June 6-7, 2023. The mission had a clear focus: to gather actual information regarding the labour shortage and training situation in the IWT sector. In this context, it aimed to foster discussions regarding the training and qualification opportunities in line with Directive (EU) 2017/2397.

This mission is an integral part of the European IWT Platform’s initiative, “Branding and Recruitment,” which adopts a comprehensive approach to address the issue of labour shortages in all European IWT countries. It includes inter alia constructive dialogues with national authorities and agencies responsible for IWT job policies, legislation, training, and certification.

The mission comprised three productive working meetings involving representatives from key national organizations responsible for personnel registration, certification, and regulation within Romania’s IWT sector. These organizations included the Romanian Naval Authority (RNA), along with relevant training and education providers such as the Romanian Maritime Training Centre (CERONAV), the Maritime University Constanta (MUC), and the University of Craiova (UoC). RNA and CERONAV hosted the meetings in Constanta and Galati, respectively. Notably, all meetings were attended by representatives from the Romanian Shipowner and Inland Ports Operators Association (AAOPFR), as well as the Romanian River Navigation Company (CNFR) Navrom Galati.

During these meetings, there was a valuable exchange of ideas, experiences, and best practices that significantly enhanced our understanding of the multifaceted challenges faced by Romania’s IWT industry. Moreover, the discussions fostered a spirit of collaboration among the participants. The discussions were conducted in accordance with the legal framework outlined by Directive (EU) 2017/2397, which specifically addresses the recognition of professional qualifications in the field of inland navigation.

Additionally, the meetings served as an excellent opportunity to introduce the IWT Platform, outlining its key focus areas and dedicated committees. Particular emphasis was placed on the Social & Education Committee’s responsibilities and activities. Furthermore, the participants had the opportunity to provide validation for the short-term and long-term initiatives envisaged under the “Branding and Recruitment” initiative.

This fact-finding mission represents a significant step toward addressing the labour shortage in the Inland Waterway Transport sector. By collaborating with national authorities, organizations, and education providers, we aim to develop comprehensive solutions that will bolster the industry and ensure its sustainable growth. Our commitment remains steadfast in furthering the objectives of the European IWT Platform initiative, ultimately strengthening the EU inland navigation sector.

Representatives from the European IWT Platform :

  • Mr. Martin Staats, Member of the European IWT Platform Board, President Federal Association of German Inland Waterway Transport, Duisburg, MSG Board of Directors.
  • Ms. Andrea Beckschäfer, Secretary European IWT Platform Social and Education Committee
  • Ms. Janeta Toma, Sr. Policy Officer European IWT Platform

Authors: Ms. Janeta Toma & Ms. Andrea Beckschäfer