Challenges for sustainable maritime and inland waterway transport (own-initiative opinion)

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Teabekiri: Challenges for sustainable maritime and inland waterway transport (own-initiative opinion)

Practical information

Administrator: Ágota BAZSIK , Assistant: Jacqueline NYEMA 

Foreseen for the EESC Section: 17 December 2021

Foreseen for the EESC Plenary session: xx January 2022

Gist of the Commission document

In keeping with its draft work programme for 2021, in the maritime sector the TEN Section will be tracking the FuelEU Maritime legislative package, particularly with reference to the need to find ways to improve current and next generation fleets so as to cut energy consumption and use cleaner energy. An own-initiative opinion on "Challenges for sustainable maritime and inland waterway transport" is therefore proposed to this end.

The aim is to strike a balance between economic, social and environmental considerations: with maritime transport making up close to 75% of freight transport in the EU, the opinion seeks to find innovative and sustainable approaches to take.

In terms of inland waterway transport, the networks under construction and future interconnections will make it possible to expand this increasingly low-carbon mode of transport, and it can be optimised by deploying multimodality, particularly in ports, especially in the post-COVID period.

Thanks to a maritime and inland waterway component of the TEN-T, it will be possible to exploit these intermodalities and to change the balance and shift some road and rail freight transport towards rivers.

Passenger transport, particularly river and maritime cruises, can – and will – also have to become more sustainable in the coming years.

The maritime industry and port organisations have embarked on an effective decarbonisation path.

In the social field, the need to embrace the standards of the International Maritime Organisation will enable tailored training and more sustainable adoption of proper labour relations attuned to the Pillar of Social Rights, opening the way for "win-win" strategies.