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The European Inland Waterway Network Moves Forward

Published: 14 April 2000


With the ratification by Italy of the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance (AGN), 11 European countries have now committed themselves to develop a homogeneous European inland waterway network. These countries are: Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Hungary; Italy; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Republic of Moldova; Romania; Slovakia; and Switzerland. Six other countries which had signed the Agreement are also expected to ratify it.

The Agreement entered into force on 26 July 1999. This international instrument, done by all European countries in Geneva in the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE), identifies the main international inland waterway links in Europe and establishes uniform infrastructure and operational parameters to which they should conform.

The international E inland waterways network defined in the Agreement covers around 28,000 km of main navigable rivers and canals and about 350 ports of international importance extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural mountains and connecting 37 countries in Europe and beyond. It also includes coastal routes (see map).

The Agreement underlines the importance of inland water transport which, in comparison with other modes of inland transport, presents economic and environmental advantages and may, therefore, contribute to reducing congestion, traffic accidents and negative environmental impacts in the pan-European transport system, particularly along main congested international transport corridors in Europe.

The AGN completes the already existing UN/ECE European Agreements AGR, AGC and AGTC, which established the international E road, E rail and E combined transport networks respectively.

For further information, please contact:

José Capel Ferrer, Director, or

Viatcheslav Novikov, Economic Affairs Officer
Transport Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE)
Palais des Nations
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Telephone: (+41 22) 917 24 00 / 78
Fax: (+41 22) 907 00 39
E-mail: jose.capel.ferrer@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/sc3/sc3.html

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Thank you.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05