Inland navigation has a lot of potential in the Baltic Sea Region, even though the geographical and administrative conditions for inland navigation differ from country to country.

This is according to a panel debating the future of inland navigation in Sweden as part of the seventh forum for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).

The panellists stressed that inland water transport is cost-efficient, safe and environmentally friendly compared to truck and train transport.

“Less than one third of energy is needed when carrying goods by vessel. It is a public task to support inland navigation”, said Birgitta Schäfer from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

The panellists agreed that innovative solutions and right political framework are needed to make inland navigation an integral part of multi-modal transport chains. And there are lessons to be learned from other Baltic Sea Region countries in how to improve the administrative layout and framework.

The panel was organised by Interreg Baltic Sea Region project EMMA which aims to enhance inland navigation in the Baltic Sea Region.

By Anne-Marie Causer