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European IWT Platform established

The formal establishment of the European IWT platform is a fact.

Brussels, January 1, 2018. EBU and ESO are proud to announce the establishment of the European IWT platform. This platform is a vehicle to strengthen the international organisations representing inland waterway transport at European level.
This platform will be able to increase the potential of the sector in the earlier mentioned fields and in the specific areas vis à vis the European and international institutions. The increased expertise is also to be considered as a catalyst to elaborate effective strategies in the key areas of the future, such as “Greening and Innovation” and “Social and Education. EBU and ESO see this a major milestone in the further professionalisation of the IWT lobby at European level.

The platform is a cooperation of the two European associations representing IWT in which they aim to bring in their expertise in all relevant aspects and support European and international decision makers in the various fields. The platform will be based in Brussels, close to the heart of European IWT policy making.

Joint undertaking
On October 17th the private foundation “European IWT platform” was established as a joint undertaking by the European Barge Union (EBU) and the European Skippers’ Organisation (ESO). The board of the platform consists of three EBU and three ESO board members. The two Secretary Generals of EBU and ESO will be in charge of the daily execution.

In a kick off meeting on  November 7th 2017, the European Commission and the involved member states have decided to allocate parts of the reserve fund for the strenghtening of the European IWT representative organisations. The reserve fund contains fees from the different scrapping regulations from the past. In 2014 the regulation was changed as to allow for use of (part of) the reserve fund for strengthening the IWT sector as a whole.

Benefit of the whole IWT community
While the two organisations EBU and ESO will remain independent and will continue their individual lobbying activities, the joint platform will add a new dimension of expertise to the benefit of the whole inland navigation community as well as the institutional bodies dealing with inland navigation.
Concrete examples are expert contributions at the CESNI working groups in the different areas, at UNECE and the CDNI waste treaty, etc.. The platform consists of five working committees (social & education, innovation & greening, safety & environment, technical and infrastructure), bringing the expertise together in the various areas and contributing to the various decision making bodies in a joint and coherent way.