The European Commission ( EC) has announced new measures to shift the transport of more goods to European rivers and canals . The barges are one of the most efficient transportation in the fight against climate change and from the point of view of energy , but now carrying only 6% of European goods annually. The new proposals seek to exploit the untapped potential of the 37,000 kilometers of inland waterways , which will transport goods more easily and to green the sector , and to promote innovation and increase employment opportunities . Siim Kallas , Vice President of the European Commission (EC ) responsible for transport, said the following: “We move each year and 500 million tons of goods by our rivers and canals, an amount equivalent to 25 million transported by trucks. But that is not enough. We need to help the sector of inland waterway transport in the long term to become a premium sector . You have to remove the bottlenecks that hinder its development and invest in the skills of their workforce . ”
The Commission proposes strategies in the following areas:
The sector can not develop their full potential due to significant bottlenecks in the form of locks, bridges or improper size channels and missing links , as the connection between river systems ls Seine and the Scheldt .
The Commission proposes to improve freight renovating waterway locks, bridges and waterways. The new mechanism ” Connecting Europe ” and orienteaciones TEN- T prioritize new funding opportunities for inland waterways . In addition , the waterways are an important component of six of the nine main network corridors of the TEN -T .
Greening and Innovation
Compared with other modes of land transport, inland waterway transport is energy efficient, safe, congestion -free nearly silent . The European Commission will propose measures that will incorporate new standards for engines to encourage investment in low carbon technologies and measures to support research and innovation.
Better connections with other forms of transportation
Priority will be given to improving the connections between the inland waterways , road and rail, with particular attention to the connections at sea and river ports . On the basis of the study being carried out by the Commission on river information services , this will make proposals to improve facilities for cargo handling and reduce red tape .
Invest in a skilled workforce
The waterways sector depends on a skilled workforce . It is expected that the new proposals provide greater recognition of qualifications and careers to improve access to employment and mobility.
Of the nearly 37,000 miles of waterways that run 20 Member States of the European Union (EU ) are transported each year 500 million of goods , especially in densely populated and congested . The braided stream of the Rhine , the Scheldt and the Meuse are connected to the Seine and Danube rivers . However, there are some important bottlenecks that prevent European river systems are fully integrated into the European space transportation.
From the general economic slowdown in the EU began in 2008 , overcapacity in certain market segments, the continued fragmentation of market players and the aging of the fleet have worsened prospects for inland from the economic views and sustainability . Naiads II responds to this situation , the EC states , laying the groundwork for a long-term stable framework for investment and innovation in quality indoor navigation and effective short and medium term, as the revision of costly technical requirements. Under NAIADES II , will mobilize EU funding , national and industry to support the necessary investments. Access to finance is particularly important in this regard .