Waterways Forward Final Conference Achievements and looking ahead
7 November 2012, Paris: On 7-8 November 2012 Waterways Forward, a regional development project supported by the EU Interreg IVC programme, held its Final Conference in Paris. During the event delegates heard about the work carried out by partners in the project to produce a set of policy recommendations for inland waterways that it is hoped will be taken forward by EU policy-makers.
The recommendations themselves cover a wide range of issues which touch on EU policies & regulations, EU funding programmes, R&D, resource efficiency, energy, accessibility, culture, skills & jobs, the promotion of inland waterways, and governance models.
The Conference also reviewed the progress and achievements of Waterways Forward to date, including regional analyses of waterways in each partner region, the identification of good practices, and the development of Regional Action Plans, which provide the basis for real implementation of waterway management improvements at a partner level.
“Looking ahead, the Waterways Forward partners hope to achieve greater recognition amongst European, national, and regional institutions of the multi-functional role of navigable inland waterways in promoting regional economic development and supporting the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy,” said Nico van Lamsweerde, Director of the Dutch Recreational Waterways Foundation (SRN), the Lead Partner of Waterways Forward.
He continued: “We also want to secure support and funding for the development of inland waterways in a multi-functional use context under the new EU policies and programmes for the period 2014 – 2020.”
One way of achieving this is through the continuation of the Waterways Forward partnership after the end of 2012 to facilitate the sharing of good practices, the joint development of innovative new approaches, and the ongoing promotion of inland waterways.
Presenters spoke on the topics related to the potential of inland waterways to support economic growth, regeneration, the green economy, and river cruise activity. These talks and discussions were followed with a visit to the Port of Paris (Gennevilliers) to see the work and issues involved in this area.
About Waterways Forward
The Waterways Forward project is funded by the INTERREG IVC Programme and is coming to the final stage of its implementation. Over the past years, the 17 European partners in the project have analysed their particular strengths and weaknesses in the field of regional waterway management and have developed a very detailed Toolbox of Good Practices.
During practical site visits they have shared and transferred their good management practices and discussed the specific conditions for implementing these practices in their regions. During a series of Master Classes, they brought in experts on themes linked to governance and environment to transform their knowledge into jointly defined Policy Recommendations.
The final step in the implementation of Waterways Forward was to turn the experiences gained so far into Action Plans for the partner regions. For more information see www.waterways-forward.eu