Press Release

Let us break the silos: Waterborne industries’ message about Horizon Europe


Brussels, November 22th, 2018

The Waterborne Sector fully subscribes to the new direction of Horizon Europe to break down the silos between modes and sectors. That’s why we call upon Member States and the European Commission to give Waterborne its appropriate place, in accordance to its role, in the programming of cross-sectoral missions and partnerships.

The ability of society and industry to address global challenges and to decarbonise in order to meet the UN Sustainable Development goals and the COP21 objectives, to tackle societal needs and to adopt emerging technologies, will determine the world of tomorrow and the life of future generations.

The sector is at the core of the EU’s economy creating 5.4 million jobs (about 2.25% of all European employment) and generating currently €500 billion a year (3.4% of EU GDP). Moreover, waterborne transport enables nearly 90% of international trade, 80% of external EU trade and 40% of internal EU trade. Waterborne tourism is annually growing at a double digit rate. With targeted and responsible investment, it will keep the waterborne environment of seas, ports and waterways healthy and sustainable ensuring long–term European prosperity.

With more than 70% of the globe covered by water and 50% of Europeans live close to the coast and the valleys of the 15 largest rivers, the Waterborne sector in Europe will be pivotal in the coming decades, both in Europe and globally. By 2050, 80% of the EU population will live in cities. Congestion costs Europe each year up to €100 billion. While expansion of the existing land infrastructure is often challenging and expensive to meet the increasing demand for public transport and city logistics, the Waterborne sector will offer waterfront cities with uncongested zero-emission and smart mobility solutions. The European Waterborne sector, public and private has developed, in close cooperation with key stakeholders, an ambitious vision, based on a series of cross-sectoral missions:

  • Accelerated transformation of Waterborne Transport into sustainable, safe and interconnected mode of transport;
  • ™™Integrate Shipping, inland waterway transport and land transport, ports & seamless hinterland related logistics operations in a policy that privileges the building of enhanced and multi-purpose infrastructure (transport, water management, nature protection, green energy production, leisure and tourism);
    • ™™Develop European cities through fully integrated and efficient urban waterborne services;
      ™™Develop European leadership in the Blue Economy, enable new business models for Blue Growth sectors.

To implement its ambitious vision, the European Waterborne sector commits to make significant efforts in research, development and innovation (RDI), as well as in education and training. These investments will have to be underpinned by an integrated, holistic and coordinated policy and strategy, across all parts of EU framework programmes and other relevant EU funding programmes. Only thereby, the Waterborne sector will be able to achieve a large impact (a.o. concerning minimising environmental impact) by means of collaborative research.

Including waterborne in the programming of cross-sectoral missions and partnerships provides the best way towards optimal and mutually beneficial cooperation among sectors and a full contribution according to each respective strength to our urgent societal and global challenges of a smart, resource-efficient, low-carbon and competitive economy.



FEPORT Press Release: Let us break the silos