EC approves German prolongation to encourage freight traffic to shift from road to rail and inland waterways

Karel Novak, Published on 01/11/2022
EC approves German prolongation to encourage freight traffic to shift from road to rail and inland waterways
@Deutsche Bahn AG / Georg Wagner

Besides prolongation, the European Commission has approved also the modification of a German scheme to shift freight transport from road to inland waterways and rail. The measure originally approved by the Commission in October 2002 and prolonged on six occasions, most recently in April 2022, was set to expire in September 2022.


The purpose of this scheme is to promote the modal shift of freight transport from road to inland waterways and rail, which are greener modes of transport, and to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and road congestion.

Germany was asking for the following amendments to the scheme:

  • prolongation until the end of 2026
  • a budget increase of €388.5 million, bringing the overall budget to ca. €1.5 billion
  • modifications to the scope of eligible costs, in particular, the introduction of the possibility to support the replacement of existing transshipment facilities and equipment 

The European Commission assessed these amendments and concluded that the scheme continues to be necessary and appropriate to promote the use of inland waterways and rail freight transport, in line with the objectives of the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and the European Green Deal, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

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