Liège , 16th October 2018
On 12 October 2018, EFIP members gathered in Liège (Belgium) for their annual Executive Committee meeting. The meeting was hosted by Liège Port Authority, the 1st Belgian inland port and the 3rd inland port in Europe for total throughput.
The CEF II proposal
The theme of the interactive open session was “The CEF II Proposal”. Key questions posed during the session included: ‘how could/should the role of inland ports in the supply chain evolve from the EU Commission’s approach?’, ‘are inland ports’ current responses to the changing environment appropriate, or could/should inland ports play a more (pro)active role in shaping the supply chain?’ and ‘will the CEF II Proposal be offering concrete and targeted opportunities for inland ports to remedy to the hinterlands’ congestion issues?’
Firstly, the case of the Port of Liège was presented by Ms. Hélène Thiébaut, head of communication for Liège Port Authority. Secondly, Mr. Hugues Van Honacker, Senior Expert, Directorate Unit Ports & Inland navigation (D.3, DG MOVE) from the European Commission (EC), discussed the CEF II proposal and Naiades with regards to the place and opportunities according to inland ports. Finally, Mr. Pawel Wojciechowski, TEN-T Coordinator of the Rhine-Alpine Corridor, gave a presentation to the EFIP members, where he discussed the question of ‘how the CEF II Proposal can tackle hinterlands’ congestion from the inland ports’ perspective?’
The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session, moderated by Mr. Roland Hörner, EFIP President, Mr. Turi Fiorito, EFIP Director, and Mr. Mathieu Grosch, TEN-T Coordinator for the Orient East-Med Corridor.
European Coordinator for the Rhine-Alpine Corridor Pawel Wojciechowski said “CEF 2 will provide inland ports with opportunities to develop further as green smart multimodal hubs reducing congestion and strengthening the European transport sector. And for this we need leading projects from the sector.”
President of EFIP: Roland Hörner added “As Inland Ports we are at the centre of the European transport network and CEF provides us with the means to maintain that position through smart and future thinking projects”.
Background information on EFIP
The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) brings together nearly 200 inland ports and port authorities in 17 countries of the European Union and Switzerland. Additionally, EFIP also has observer members in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
EFIP actively follows all developments in the field of EU policy that is of importance and represents the inland ports vis-à-vis the European institutions and other international bodies. EFIP offers its members the possibility to exchange information, expertise and best practices with colleagues in other countries.
Liège Port Authority
Liege Port is integrated in the « core network” (TN-T) for several reasons :
- Liege Port is the first Belgian inland port & the third European inland Port
- Liege Port is directly connected with Port of Antwerp (2nd largest European maritime Port) in 14h of navigation as well as Rotterdam (1st European maritime port) in 24h navigation.
Liège Port can be considered as a modal hub thanks to:
- Its exceptional geographical situation (located near Germany, France and the Netherlands)
- The proximity of first-class infrastructures of transport (Liege Airport,…)
- Its existing and future collaborations with maritime ports (Antwerp, Rotterdam and Dunkerke) but also with other inland European ports (Brussels, Lille, Paris, Bâle, Utrecht, Rheinports…)
- Its multimodal platform Liège Trilogiport,
- Its 21 million tons handled in 2017, included 16 million tons handled by waterway.