Platform for the implementation of a future inland navigation action programme

European IWT policy observatory

Executive summary

This report presents the conclusions of the research led regarding the potential of developing a policy observatory for IWT in Europe, focussing on national and selected European policies for promotion of IWT. The methods contained desk research and interviews of stakeholders. CCNR Secretariat found that such a policy observatory (PO) would be useful for the EU, countries with a strong interest in inland navigation, the industry and researchers and therefore proposed this research task to be part of PLATINA3 project.
The concept of the Policy Observatory foresees to contain information on policy development, policy implementation and policy monitoring. An approach in three steps is suggested for the development of the PO: a first step consisting of descriptive information on policies which are in place, a second step adding information on policies which are being developed and terminated policies and a third step consisting of analytical and prospective content.
An overall structure responding to the needs identified has been proposed. The PO could contain brief presentations of IWT in the country as well as institutional structure and processes to adopt and implement policies in the country or international organisation. For the description of the adopted policies, 5 policy objectives have been identified (closely linked with but not identical those of NAIADES III):
1.       fit-for-purpose infrastructure
2.       greening
3.       promotion of intermodality and modal shift
4.       supporting digitalisation and automation
5.       supporting the current and future workforce.
After the policy objective, the measures to achieve the policy objective could be presented, before highlighting some good practices.
A proposal for the structuring of a website for the PO has been developed. On this website, information could be accessed by country/international organisation, by policy objective, by type of policy measure, by stage of the policy measure, by good practices. The website could be in English in a first step and could be translated in different languages if the funds for translations were raised. However, the translations would have to be updated regularly for non-static information.
Finally, a feasibility study evaluated the financial feasibility and identified some first types of organisations which could develop or coordinate the setting up and the implementation of such a PO.
The creation of a PO is not a goal in itself. It is a means to an end, namely to contribute to the overall objective of accelerating the policy making cycle related to the NAIADES-III action programme. The PO is seen as an important enabler of a full policy making cycle. The design and adoption of such a cycle is beyond the scope of this Deliverable and even beyond the scope of the PLATINA3 project. It is recommended that a dedicated policy making cycle – encompassing all 5 stages and including defined inputs of the PO ­– shall be designed and agreed in close cooperation with the EC and Member States. This way it shall be ensured that the proposed PO at hand effectively contributes to the achievement of the NAIADES-III policy objectives.
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