A barge in France
3 July 2019

France commits alongside Europe to delivering the Canal Seine-Nord Europe project and Seine-Scheldt river link

Elisabeth Borne, Minister for Transport, commends the European Commission’s adoption of the implementing decision on the Seine-Scheldt cross-border river link, following its approval by France and the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia.
The plans for the Seine-Scheldt link aim at bringing together a network of 1,100 km of high-gauge inland waterways between the Seine basin and the Scheldt and Maas basins in Belgium, in a bid to enable access for modern river convoys of more than 4,000 tons and so drive forward the modal shift in road freight transport towards the waterways. Within this network, the Canal Seine-Nord Europe project will form the key link for connecting, for high-gauge use, the network of inland waterways in the North of France to the Oise in Compiègne and, beyond, the Seine.

Europe is committed to supporting delivery of the Seine-Scheldt link, which it is financing through the 2014-2020 Connecting Europe Facility programme up to 50% of the planning amount and 40% of the execution amount. Over the 2021-2027 period, the Seine-Scheldt link could be eligible for up to 50% of the execution costs.

Through this implementing decision, France, the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia and the European Commission all confirm their joint commitment to the project and agree on the progress of the European link, which will be monitored and coordinated by an Inter-Governmental Commission in which the European Commission will take part.

France will also involve the European Commission in the governance of the public body in charge of delivering this infrastructure, the Société du canal Seine-Nord Europe, whose new status as a local public body has been enshrined in the mobility framework bill recently adopted by the French National Assembly at the first reading.

The implementing decision can be viewed here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019D1118