Waterways typically have economic benefits, high reserves of capacity and a low environmental impact. The population accepts inland waterway transport because it produces relatively little pollution, does not have divisive effects (routes which "split" the landscape) and requires very little extra space – for port infrastructure, for example.
Austria is situated on a waterway which links the river systems of the Rhine and Danube via the Main-Danube Canal and extends from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
The National Action Plan for Inland Waterways (NAP) is a reflection of the important place that inland waterways occupy in transport, and it was chosen as a focal theme for Austria's Presidency of the European Union (EU) Council in the first half of 2006.
Austria and maritime transport
The Barcelona Declaration of 1921 recognises the right to a flag of states which have no sea coast. Some ten vessels sail under the Austrian flag, chiefly in European waters.