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Mobility and Transport
News article29 January 2024Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Commission proposes to modernise river information services in EU

The European Commission today adopted a new proposal to improve traffic management on the EU’s rivers and canals. The measure follows up on the action plan to shift more cargo to Europe’s inland waterways, in line with the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – transport by inland waterways is energy-efficient, and almost congestion-free.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: "The measures proposed today will improve the efficiency and reliability of inland navigation and traffic management across Europe’s rivers, such as the Danube and the Rhine. Modern river information services will help barge operators and skippers to better and more easily exchange with port operators and authorities to better plan and execute their voyages. In turn, this will help further integrating inland waterways transport within modern logistics processes and multimodal chains."

The proposal updates the existing directive on river information services, including provisions on traffic information and management, on information on the condition of waterways and infrastructure, on voyage planning for skippers, and on reporting to authorities. RIS is provided on around 13,000 km of interconnected waterways across 12 EU Member States.  

The 2005 directive had a positive impact on harmonising these information services across the EU. It now needs modernising to take into account lessons learnt from implementation, and to ensure it is fit for current and future challenges, such as further digitalisation, demands on efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness, and modal shift. Today’s proposal provides a framework for RIS deployment and provisions, and seeks to ensure that data is available and technical specifications are harmonised and delivers on a clear expectation from the inland waterways transport sector.


Publication date
29 January 2024
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport