This week, a delegation of the key European water-related organisations met with the cabinet of Commissioner Bulc for Transport to discuss the importance of transport policy for sustainable water management.
Sustainable transport is essential for Europe’s economic recovery. Waterborne transport is considered to be an energy efficient, safe, and sustainable mode of transport. Waterways accommodate multiple functions, such as water supply, flood mitigation, biodiversity, and navigation. A systemic approach is needed to accommodate all these ecosystem services on and around waterways, taking into account climate aspects. The opportunity to move to a more systemic approach to waterways emerges due to the upcoming efforts to replace ageing waterway infrastructures.
As a leading player in waterborne transport policy in the European Union, DG Transport has a key role to play in achieving a systemic approach to waterways management in coordination with other relevant policy DGs, such as DG Environment, DG Regional Policy, DG Agriculture, DG Climate Action, and DG Research & Innovation. Sharing best practices on systemic approaches to inland waterways management will be a first step.
With 90% of the global economic activity dependent on water, protection of this key resource is highly relevant to Juncker’s top priority to boost jobs growth, and investment. Water is also a transversal issue that can highly benefit from President Juncker’s ambition to overcome silo mentalities and promote ‘cooperation across portfolios to produce integrated, well-grounded and well-explained initiatives’.
The ‘Key priorities for water under the Juncker Commission’, released in September 2014, provided the basis of the discussion between the Water Alliance delegates and the cabinet of Commissioner Bulc.
For further information, please contact Durk Krol.