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Question for written answer E-002802/2013 to the Commission

Rule 117

Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

Subject: Naiades programme

In May 2013 the Commission will be launching the long-awaited Naiades II action plan for the 2014-2020 period.

This ambitious follow-up programme aims to produce an increase in the share of traffic carried by inland waterways and boost its environmental subsidy until 2020. Transport by inland waterways delivers a sizeable CO2 saving of between 43 and 63 % in comparison to road transport and thus delivers an important contribution to resource efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction for our transport system.

Transport by inland waterways has a vital part to play in solving the problems of ever-increasing traffic jams and capacity shortfalls on our roads. The issue of traffic jams gives rise to major costs and affects the competitiveness of our businesses. In countries like the Netherlands, a substantial increase in the modal share of inland waterways transport is indispensable in order to manage further increases in traffic volume.

Meanwhile, the agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) in the Council will result in a reduction of the budget for the Connecting Europe Facility.

  1. How does the Commission see the way forward for the Naiades II programme with a smaller budget, given that we have already seen from the mid-term review of the first Naiades programme (SEC(2011)0453 final) that there were shortcomings in implementation as a result of insufficient funds?
  2. What measures does the Commission view as important in order to increase inland waterways transport’s modal share and to boost its environmental subsidy?
  3. What minimum budget does the Commission view as necessary for the proper and efficient implementation of these measures?




Answer given by Mr Kallas

on behalf of the Commission


The Commission considers that inland waterway should play an important role as an economic, energy-efficient and safe mode of transport for the EU transport system. In order to help inland waterway transport to increase its modal share and to improve its environmental performance,
the Commission is planning the renewal of the NAIADES action programme[1] for the period 2013-2020. The programme will focus on the quality aspects of this transport mode including improvement of the inland waterway infrastructure network, innovation, emission reduction, jobs and skills and the integration of inland waterway transport into the multimodal logistic chain.

At EU level, the financing of the programme will come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)[2] for infrastructure investments and for the greening of the fleet as well as from HORIZON 2020 for innovation and research and development. The details of the specific actions of the programme and their financing will be worked out when the details of the CEF and HORIZON 2020 instruments which are currently under discussion in the Council and Parliament are known.

[1] COM (2011) 665

[2] COM (2006) 6 final