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November 19, 2012 / landscapeiskingston

EU workshop : 11 December 2012, House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels.

The main objective of Waterways Forward is to improve the management of regional inland waterways and the regions adjacent to them by promoting an integrated, sustainable and participatory approach, taking account of the multi-functional role of waterways. 

On 11 December, the project will come to a head with a workshop held at the House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels entitled “The contribution of Inland Waterways to sustainable economic development in Europe; good practices and recommendations.”  Speakers at the workshop will include representatives from the European Commission, the UK Canal & River Trust, and the Dutch Recreational Waterways Foundation (SRN).

The workshop will be used to profile and communicate to decision-makers and stakeholders a set of policy recommendations drawn up by members of WF that have been developed through a number of meetings, workshops, seminars, and stakeholder events.  The recommendations themselves cover a wide range of issues including EU policies & regulations, EU funding programmes, R&D, resource efficiency, energy, accessibility, culture, skills & jobs, the promotion of inland waterways, and governance models.

Amongst others, WF calls on the European Commission to develop a White Paper on the future development of inland waterways which addresses their multifunctional use as a source of economic, environmental, social and technological development.

The full text of the policy recommendations can be read by clicking here:


Tailored approach:

The recommendations also call for more specific funding programmes which can reinforce the role of inland waterways and greater involvement from representatives from the inland water management sector in the decision-making process.   A greater focus on R&D policies and innovation in terms of transport development & the environment is also highlighted in the recommendations, as well as ways in which inland waterways can be promoted for both recreational and freight purposes.  Underlining these recommendations is the need for all stakeholders from the public and private sectors to be involved in policy-making and implementation of measures. They note that a tailored approach, based on the country’s legal and financial system, is preferable to a “one size fits all” approach.

Building awareness and securing support:

It is hoped that these recommendations will be taken forward by EU policy-makers with the aim of:

  • Building awareness within EU, regional, and national institutions of the multi-functional role of navigable inland waterways in promoting regional economic development and supporting the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy.
  • Securing support and funding for developing inland waterways in a multi-functional use context under the new EU policies and programmes for the period 2014 – 2020.

Looking beyond 2012, the WF partnership hopes to continue to share good practices, develop innovative new approaches, and promote the multi-functional use of inland waterways.


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