New Foundation for European inland navigation
The IWT platform was launched in 2018 by the European umbrella organisations EBU (European Barge Union) and ESO (European Skipper’s Organisation). It officially started its work in Brussels on the 21st of February. The secretaries of the committees coordinated by Nik Delmeire gave an overview of their work plans to around 60 high-ranking representatives from trade, politics and administration.
In his speech, Paul Goris, president of the EBU and the IWT platform, emphasised on the outstanding importance of this foundation for the industry. The aim is to bring together experts and transfer of knowledge, which is a benefit to the members of the national associations as well as to the entire inland navigation community, including all relevant players in the industry.
In this regard, Paul Goris reiterated the key role of European inland waterway transport in reducing emissions caused by freight transport. The industry made an important contribution to the implementation of the European and international climate goals, he underlined.
In his keynote address Henrik Hololei, Director-General of DG MOVE at the European Commission, pointed out the potential for shifting more goods transports from the road to alternative modes of transport, like inland waterway and rail.
The new foundation is called “European Inland Waterway Transport Platform”. It consists of the Board of Management staffed by three representatives each from EBU and ESO, the Advisory Board, in which representatives of the Member States involved (Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria) assist the Secretary General (Secretary General ) from EBU and ESO, Theresia Hacksteiner and Gerard Kester, as well as the coordinator and the committees.