The Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications in Inland Navigation was a major step towards improving the mobility of workers, strengthening training and education and further developing the high level of safety in inland waterway transport.
Another milestone on the European agenda is the development of manning regulations for European waterways. The only European regulation at present is the one of the Central Commission for Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR); there is non at European level yet.
CESNI, the joint EU-CCNR committee for drawing up standards in the field of inland navigation, had included this in its work program after discussions with the Social Partners and the Member States. The sub-working group CESNI/QP/Crew, in which representatives of the EBU and ESO, both founders of the EU-IWT Platform, have participated from the beginning, has now presented the first draft roadmap with preliminary conclusions and recommendations. This will be worked on intensively the next few month with a view to submitting it to CESNI, which will decide whether a European manning regulation can be drawn up on this basis.
It is a very ambitious and complex project to develop a system of rules and regulations that will find the right solution for all European waterways. Many questions need to be further examined, experts consulted and companies involved.
But it is an excellent opportunity to develop a manning regulation which, on the one hand, is flexible enough to meet the different needs of different companies, to respond in a timely manner to new technological developments and advances in automation, while at the same time ensuring legal certainty and reliable control and enforceability.