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Development of inland waterways in Poland during the 2nd Polish Forum of the Transport Corridor the Baltic-The Adriatic

On 8th September 2015 in Gdańsk, on the International Marine Fairs BALTEXPO 2015, the "2nd Forum for the Corridor the Baltic – the Adriatic". Conditions for development of the inland waterways in Poland were one of three subjects during this meeting.

The session was hosted by dr Tomasz Sowiński who made an introduction to the subject of inland waterways. As he stated, the railways are not a popular issue (opinion of the director Leszek Lewiński) but the inland waterways are not discussed at all. He said that Poland lacks of coordination of investments related to the Vistula and the Oder. Water and inland management, which is conducted by 6 departments, is made within their own, not agreed actions. Then, Jan Pyś, the director of the Inland Waterways Authority in Wrocław, stated that the inland navigation in Poland has a great potential and 80% of the Polish industry is located at the rivers. Mariusz Gajda, the director of the Water Engineering and Environmental Protection Office M&I GAJDA in Gdańsk revealed that Germans consistently realize their plans (from 80 years ago) related to inland waterways and Poland lacks such a consistency. He also said that (what was disputed by dr T. Sowiński) on the Vistula, there is no need to build one cascade but several small water steps so that it is possible to provide the navigability at the level of at least 4th navigability class. The last of experts, Zbigniew Antonowicz, the Vice-president of the Port Szczecin-Świnoujście Council, was happy that the Oder Waterway appeared in the Baltic-the Adriatic corridor since it is subject to consultation on AGN Convention. He said that the Czechs are aware of the importance of waterways and want to have an alternative for Hamburg port. Moreover, he stated that chances to use public-private cooperation procedure in relation to revitalization of the Oder waterways are irrational since the deadlines for this route are too long and distant in time (thus, no investor will not make a decision about investments). He ended his speech with an appeal to bring the people responsible for negligence in inland waterways in Poland before the State Tribunal. The Forum is a joint initiative of 6 associations which create the Self-government Coalition for the corridor the Baltic-the Adriatic (hereinafter referred to as Coalition) concluded on 9th December 2013 in Gdynia. The Coalition consists of Association of Cities of the Amber Highway (SMAB), Association of Marine Towns and Municipalities (ZMiGM), Association of Vistula Towns (ZMN), Self-government Association of the A1 Highway (SSA1), Association of Polish Regions of the Baltic - Adriatic Transport Corridor (SPRKTB - A), Consortium of Self-governments for Revitalization of the Silesian Coal Route - Ports (KSRMWŚ-P).

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