The liberal group in the European Parliament, Renew Europe, has published a position paper that puts forward a strategic agenda for inland waterway transport in Europe. It concludes that inland waterway transport offers great potential as an alternative to road transport: inland waterway freight vessels can carry the load of several hundred trucks, and therefore make for a cleaner and more efficient transport means. The paper calls for the Commission to develop a strategic agenda for the sector, based on seven pillars: the modal shift to inland waterway transport, the greening of vessels, the implementation of digital innovations, the transformation of ports into clean energy hubs, education and training, a financing plan, and inland waterway passenger transport and tourism.
Thanks to EBI’s liaison with Renew Europe MEPs in charge of the document, the paper also stresses the importance of recreational navigation on inland waterways, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to “further explore the potential of inland waterway cruise vessels and recreational boating, in order to boost growth, create new job opportunities, and enhance tourism in the related regions”. Through the paper, Renew Europe calls on the Commission to include inland waterway tourism in its upcoming European Agenda for Tourism 2050. Besides, the paper advocates the use of zero-emission alternative fuels and infrastructure upgrading in ports and inland marinas.
More information, together with the full position paper, can be found here.