A new platform for inland waterway transport


ICPDR Danube Watch: Searching for heavy metals behind the Iron Gates

Danube Watch 1 2008

A new platform for inland waterway transport

The PLATINA project puts preparations on track for the European Commission’s aims to promote and strengthen the competitive position of inland navigation.

Stronger coordination of the European inland waterway transport policy will be possible through the PLATINA project, which will provide technical, organisational and financial support for policy actions.

Inland waterways play an important role for the transport of goods in europe. More than 35,000 kilometres of waterways connect hundreds of cities and industrial regions. With the new PlaTINa project, the european inland navigation programme NaIades is ready to set sail.

The Platform for the Implementation of NAIADES, or PLATINA project proposal, was accepted within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development as an action to facilitate NAIADES in the years to come. Covering a broad set of actions in five strategic fields of the NAIADES action (see box), PLATINA will support the European Commission, member states and third countries by providing technical, organisational and financial support for policy actions and by building on strong interrelations with existing expert groups, projects and initiatives.

“Apart from its own initiatives, PLATINA will also be providing technical and organisational support for existing expert groups, projects and initiatives to promote inland navigation,” says Manfred Seitz, Managing Director of via donau and coordinator of the PLATINA project. “PLATINA will thereby contribute project. “PLATINA will thereby contribute to improved coordination between national and European inland navigation policies.”

Ensuring stakeholder participation. With the involvement of 22 key stakeholders from 9 European countries and the support of 11 European Ministries of Transport, PLATINA has ensured the active participation and support of waterway operators, administrations, representatives of the industry, promotion and development organisations, inland navigation educational institutions, as well as the ICPDR.

“Through its activities, PLATINA will underline the importance of the Joint Statement on Guiding Principles for the Development of Inland Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Danube River Basin,” says Philip Weller, Executive Secretary of the ICPDR. “PLATINA will show ways to turn these general planning guidelines into reality by means of a best practice manual and a series of practical training sessions on state-of-the-art waterway planning.” PLATINA will thereby contribute to the integration of environmental aspects in the development and maintenance of inland waterway infrastructure. PLATINA will be launched in early summer 2008 and will last for four years.

For more information, please visit: www.viadonau.org.

The European Commission’s Action Programme, ‘Navigation and Inland Waterway Action and Development in Europe’ (NAIADES) promotes inland waterway transport in Europe and sets a comprehensive European inland navigation policy. NAIADES, launched in 2006, has five aims: to improve market conditions, modernise the fleet, develop human capital, strengthen the image of inland navigation and improve the infrastructure.

Gert-Jan Muilerman is team manager ‘Policy Implementation’ with via donau and will be responsible for the PLATINA project.