EC Published Action Plan on Promotion of River Freight Transport

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On Tuesday the European Commission presented their plans on the development of rivers and channels in order to create possibilities for a more intensified freight transport, as it was pointed out in Brussels.
Their main goal is to disburden the current transport system in the EU by rerouting transport activities from roads and railroads towards rivers and channels.
They pointed out that the plan would support growth and employment in Europe. Their whole plan is based on last year's consultancies and directed towards five key components: services, fleets, crew, image and infrastructure. According to certain sources within the Commission the plan’s goal is to solve the ‘paradox of standby capacities’ of rivers and channels within the EU, where despite of 30 000 km of rivers and channels – only 7% of the existing transport is being organized via those ways.

Problems which will have to be solved include the restructuring of the existing market, the solving of administrative difficulties and setting clear directions regarding State support.

The plan will remain active until 2013, aiming to gather all participants within the river and channel transport sector, including industry, member – countries and the European Commission. It also considers the founding of an ‘investment fund’, which will be used for fleet modernization and crew education. 

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