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    Restoration of the E40 Waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula Section: from Strategy to Plann

    December 2013 – November 2015

    The project was funded by the European Union under the cross-border cooperation programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2007-2013.

    Budget: € 912 657; EU contribution – € 821 281 (90% of total).

    Project partners: Belarus: Lead partner – Republican Unitary Maintenance and Construction Enterprise Dnepro-Bug  Waterway, Local Foundation for Promotion of International Dialogue and Cooperation Interakcia, Brest Regional (Oblast) Executive Committee; Poland: Marshal Office of Lublin Voivodeship, Association for Regional and Local Development Progress; Ukraine: Volyn Regional Department of Water Resources, Volyn Association of Scientists and Innovators

    In the project, Interakcia Foundation was responsible for coordination of project activities, mass media relations, and stakeholder engagement.



    The E40 waterway, which connects the Baltic and the Baltic Sea along the rivers and canals of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine through Gdansk, Warsaw, Brest, Pinsk, Mozyr, Kyiv, and Kherson, is currently not navigable on the Polish section of the Western Bug river.

    For many years, the question of restoring navigation along the E40 arterial waterway had been repeatedly discussed at the level of the Inland Transport Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Ministries of Transport and Infrastructure, cross-border regions, research institutions of Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, and Germany.

    Advocates of the project claim the restoration of the E40 waterway will make it possible for the border regions of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine to become multimodal transportation centres of international importance, reduce traffic on roads, increase the flow of goods through the border regions, and contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions due to the greater usage of water transport. In addition, with the E40 waterway restored, it will be possible to use the unique potential of the Vistula, Bug, Pripyat and Dnieper rivers for the development of international water tourism.

    In 2013, a consortium of seven organizations from Poland, Belarus and Ukraine received funding from the European Union to create a feasibility study for the E40 restoration and conduct a comprehensive analysis of its economic, social and environmental aspects.


    Project objectives:
    To develop a comprehensive feasibility study for the restoration of the E40 waterway.
    To identify an optimal scenario for the E40 restoration and present a calculation of estimated costs.
    To establish a permanent cross-border commission on restoration and development of the E40 waterway.
    To promote the idea of E40 restoration on the national and international level.



    Since the end of 2015, Interakcia Foundation has not been involved into the activities of governments of Belarus, Ukraine and Poland to restore the E40 waterway. We always believed and we still believe that restoration works should not start until a comprehensive environmental assessment of the project’s impact takes place.


    Project results:
    In March 2014, a cross-border Commission on the development of the E40 waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula section was established. It assembled three times during the project.
    In late 2015, an international consortium led by the Maritime Institute in Gdansk submitted a final document of the feasibility study for the E40 restoration. The document contains three realistic scenarios to restore navigation along the E40 waterway.
    During the project, the idea of the E40 restoration was presented and discussed at a significant number of events on the regional, national and international level. After the project, the governments of the three countries continued to develop the project on their own, with no involvement of civil society organizations.
    At the end of 2015, during an environmental forum in Lublin, approximately 70 ecologists from Belarus, Ukraine and Poland discussed possible environmental risks linked to the restoration of navigation between the Baltic and the Black Seas. After the project’s end, environmental issues remain a major stumbling point between the advocates and the opponents of the E40 restoration.