The presentation was delivered within “The Eastern Partnership Days” which were held in the capital of the European Union from November 4 until November 6. For the second time in a row, this event was organized by the East Poland House in Brussels.
This year “The Eastern Partnership Days” were focused on a future form of the EU neighborhood initiative which unites six countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
European politicians, businesspeople, representatives of NGOs, experts and journalists learned about potential benefits associated with the E40 waterway restoration from Ivan Shchadranok, Director of the Foundation “Interakcia”, one of the partners of the project on the restoration of the E40 waterway. He delivered the presentation at the workshop “Eastern Partnership – Social Perspective” which was organized on November 5, as a part of “The Eastern Partnership Days”.
Ivan Shchadranok at the presentation
Today the water artery E40, which goes from Gdansk at the Baltic Sea through Brest and Pinsk to Kherson at the Black Sea, is unnavigable at the Polish section of the Bug river. Besides, obsolete hydrotechnical constructions at the Vistula makes navigation of large barges impossible. In 2013 only 214 km (or 5.9%) of the Polish 3655 km inland water ways lived up to the IV and V levels of the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance classification
The fully functioning E40 way will enable Poland to transport its own goods and transit cargo from the ports of Gdansk and Gdynia further to Eastern and Southern Europe, and Asia. Therefore, it is not accidental that the project participated in “The Eastern Partnership Days” mounted by the East Poland House in Brussels.
The House includes 5 eastern voivodeships: Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Świętokrzyskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie. The eastern border regions of Poland will obtain significant gains when navigation resumes along the entire E40 waterway: new logistics centers should appear there, allowing shipping of cargo to customers from all over Eurasia.
Potential investors will have an opportunity to build such centers in Belarus and Ukrainse as well. Not surprisingly, the three neighboring countries participate in the project, which should demonstrate the economic potential of the Eastern Partnership. Moreover, the propspective erection of hydrotechnical constructions along the E40 connection will also point out that the Eastern Partnership can serve as a framework for large infrastructure projects.
The Polish interest in the successful realization of the project is also evidenced by the fact that earlierKujawsko-Pomorskie, Mazowieckie, Lubelskie, Pomorskie (Gdansk is its capital) and Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeships had signed a special agreement to work together to reactivate the international E40 waterway. The agreement was signed on October 29, 2014, in the town of Kazimierz Dolny.
The project will continue with signing of a contract with the winner of an international tender, who will study circumstances of the E40 restoration. A consortium, which includes five organizations, will research the economic, technical, legal and environmental factors; it will also develop three most promising scenarios for the restoration.