On 19 and 20 October 2023, EFIP members gathered in Belgrade for their annual Executive Committee meeting. The meeting was hosted by the Port Governance Agency (PGA) of the Republic of Serbia.
The first day was organized the workshop regarding the study on Greening of Inland Ports. Green Inland Ports is a study commissioned by the European Commission focusing on the sustainable development of inland ports. A wide range of topics was discussed during the workshop, including the environmental impact of inland ports, solutions for urban and short-range IWT and digitalization. The feedback and input from the participants feed into a survey round and in-depth interviews taking place the next couple of months. The study team will organize a total of 10 workshops during the implementation of the project. This workshop in Belgrade was the first meeting of the study team. It has been preliminarily agreed that one of the final workshops in 2025 will be organized in cooperation with DC within the EM Ports.
The Executive Committee included a panel discussion about port development using the success in the Serbian case. The panel provided answers to the most crucial questions related to challenges in inland ports and the future development of waterway transport. Participants offered their insights on the significance of digitalization in the port sector, the role of ports in achieving decarbonization goals, and on the upcoming expansion of the Trans-European Transport Network.
Taking place on the panel were Antoine Berbain, President of European Federation of Inland Ports, Manfred Seitz, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Danube Commission and Mark Assaf, Chief of Human Resources Development Section (UNCTAD).
The panel discussed the role of inland ports as enablers of green logistics to realize the green transition. This requires political support and financial autonomy to develop the industries and innovations needed on order to make this a success. At the same time cross-border and international cooperation is essential to ensure optimal solutions.
PGA celebrated its 10th anniversary this year as well. To mark this occasion, they presented the three panelists with Certificates of Appreciation for their continued support over the years.
All participants also visited the Port of Novi Sad, one of the Serbian ports on the CORE TEN-T network. During the visit, the most important investments by DP World in the Novi Sad port were showcased, primarily the newly opened vertical quay.