Work on the roadmap is advancing

A challenge for the CESNI working group on professional qualifications and its sub-working group on manning requirements is the harmonisation of manning regulations for all waterways in the interconnected EU network. The only existing rules at the moment governing international manning is the Regulation for Rhine Navigation Personnel (RPN). A future European manning regulation is to include not only the Rhine but also the Danube, the Sava, the Seine, the Elbe and Oder and all the other navigable rivers and canals.

The first draft roadmap, (reported on the September newsletter), was discussed in detail at the last meeting of the sub-working group on 3 November. EBU and ESO stressed that it was important to proceed with a sense of proportion and to legislate at European level on what could best be regulated there, leaving room for national regulations or derogations where necessary.

Furthermore, there is a need for flexibility with regard to the different requirements of businesses, and rapid response, in terms of operating time, to new technological developments and pilot projects. The proposal of EBU and ESO to include a separate chapter on flexibility in the roadmap to highlight this challenge was accepted.

At the same time, the future regulation must promote a high level of safety, which has always been a hallmark of inland navigation, and ensure good and safe control with adequate rest periods for crew members.

Agreement has already been reached on many issues. The discussions have also raised numerous concrete questions on which further technical advice is needed. The roadmap shall be completed by spring 2021. There is still a lot of work to be done.

Andrea Beckschäfer

2nd December 2020