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IP/08/1438

Brussels, 1 October 2008

Commission boosts inland waterway transport through a new platform – PLATINA

The European Commission today launched its "PLATINA" project to implement more efficiently actions and measures promoting inland waterway transport. The project, which is bringing together 22 partners from 9 European countries, is funded with € 8.5 million from the Commission. PLATINA has been designed as a platform for helping to implement the European inland navigation programme NAIADES. The Commission also presented today a guide to funding opportunities in inland waterway transport, as well as the outcomes of a study on administrative and regulatory barriers affecting inland navigation, to which PLATINA will assist the follow-up in a coordinated way. More use of inland waterway transport is an efficient way to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions and to contribute, in a sustainable way, to Europe’s industrial prosperity.

Beyond its role as the primary mode for transporting bulk freight, inland waterway transport has successfully established itself in higher-value markets. In order to make even better use of the potential of waterways, the Commission launched in 2006 the ambitious NAIADES action programme for the promotion of inland waterway transport. The PLATINA project, adopted under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, covers a broad set of actions in five strategic fields of NAIADES: improve market conditions, modernise the fleet, develop human capital, strengthen the image of inland navigation and improve the infrastructure.

PLATINA will provide technical and organisational assistance by ensuring active participation of key industrial stakeholders, associations and Member States administrations. Among the major project partners are Via Donau from Austria (coordinator), Voies navigables de France, Bundesverband der Deutschen Binnenschiffahrt (Germany), Promotie Binnenvaart Vlaanderen (Belgium) and the Rijkswaterstaat Centre for Transport and Navigation (The Netherlands).

Furthermore, PLATINA will organise expert meetings and working groups, and will carry out studies on how to better implement selected actions. For the coming year, PLATINA foresees actions such as setting up a single portal for online inland navigation information services and an inland navigation education network, as well as giving technical support for the further development of River Information Services.

For more information: www.naiades.info

Publications: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/iw/index_en.htm

An online version of the Funding Handbook is available from www.naiades.info


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