Ports discussed a number of political issues that are currently on the Brussels agenda. The new Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Policy remains one of the main points of interest. A defining characteristic of the new TEN-T policy is its focus on multi-modality. This fits the needs of inland ports, which are multi-modal by their very nature. For the first time dedicated funding will now be set aside for the development of multi-modal platforms and their connections. Inland ports see this is an important opportunity.
During the open session, Petar Margić, Director General of the Danube Commission, gave some insight into the current priorities of the Danube Commission. In particular the lack of fairway maintenance on the Danube is a pressing issue for the inland ports. The failure of some countries to honour their commitment to maintain the Danube threatens the safe and cost-efficient navigability of the river with disastrous consequences for the sector and affected industry.
The EFIP meeting was hosted by Verejné Pristavy, the Public Port Authority governing the Ports of Bratislava, Komárno and Štúrovo. In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to get an understanding of the planned infrastructure projects of the port during a boat tour.
Those projects concern the modernisation of port infrastructure, namely:
1. Modernisation of infrastructure in the cargo port BA and completion of binding elements in cargo port and passanger port BA (utilities);
2. Modernisation and completion of port quays and paved areas in the cargo port BA.
EFIP President Jean-Louis Jérôme said: “The European Commission now considers inland ports as key nodes for trans-European transport. This was the first stage. EFIP and the ports will now have some hard work to do to transfer this good will into projects.”
Jozef Moravčík, CEO of Verejné prístavy, said: “It was a good experience to host this meeting. We are grateful for the support of EFIP for our infrastructure projects.”