Vienna, Austria, May 15, 2024 – The workshop organized by ViaDonau brought together industry experts to discuss key themes essential for the future of inland navigation. The event was structured around four major themes: Green Navigation, Good Navigation, Future Crew, and a Business Dating event, providing a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the inland shipping sector.

Setting the Course to Green Inland Navigation

Turi Fiorito of the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) delivered a keynote address emphasizing the importance of sustainability in inland navigation. He was followed by Christoph Kreuzinger from WVV, who discussed advancements in shore power systems, and Richard Anzböck, who presented innovative concepts for green vessels.

Achieving Good Navigation Status

The workshop also explored strategies for improving navigation standards. Luca Farkas from DG MOVE, along with Razvan Banica from TTS, highlighted the significance of robust fairway infrastructure as a backbone for sustainable shipping solutions. Additional insights were provided by Michaela Pichler of RWA, who spoke on the crucial role of Danube navigation in logistics, and Carmen Manescu from ACN and Romeo Soare from AFDJ, who shared achievements in Romanian waterway infrastructure. Markus Fischer of WIGES concluded this segment with developments on the Straubing-Vilshofen waterway.

Embracing Multinational Challenges

The workshop underscored the importance of multinational collaboration in addressing the inland shipping sector’s challenges. Both the Danube and Rhine regions, despite their unique identities, face similar issues. The event highlighted the efforts of Danube countries to unite along the nearly 3,000 km river, supported by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), which has been fostering a macro-regional strategy since 2010.

Future Directions

The discussions raised the question of whether an umbrella initiative could emerge to facilitate greater learning and cooperation between the Danube and Rhine regions, leveraging their collective experiences to enhance the sector’s sustainability and efficiency.

For more detailed information and to access the slides from the event, please visit ViaDonau Newsroom.