New steps forward for the completion of the Seine – Scheldt network

On 27 June 2019, the European Commission adopted a Decision on the Seine – Scheldt cross-border project on the North Sea – Mediterranean and Atlantic Core Network Corridors, laying down a description of the actions and the implementation timetable for the cross-border project Seine – Scheldt, as well as related governance provisions. The actions and the timetable for their implementation indicated in the Decision aim at completing the project by 2030.

Through the completion of the Seine – Scheldt network, the Seine basin will be directly linked by continuous high-gauge inland waterway to the Scheldt basin in the north of France, Belgium and the Netherlands and further, to other important European waterway basins such as the Rhine and the Maas. This will create a continuous, effective and consistent high capacity inland waterway network linking the numerous maritime and inland ports of this wider European cross-border region.

The Seine – Scheldt project is a complex cross-border project, involving Belgium and France and involving works aiming both at creating new infrastructure and at improving existing infrastructure with minimal impact on navigation.

The project constitutes a key link of the North Sea – Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European transport Network (TEN-T). Fostering inland waterway transport to move goods is a priority of the EU transport policy and a long-standing priority of the TEN-T policy. It also aims at strengthening the decarbonisation of transport, through creating the conditions for an ambitious modal shift of long-distance freight traffic to energy-efficient transport mode.

Sara Capruzzi