MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Many Thanks. – Madam President! Dear Colleagues! We’ve heard a lot about roads, rails and, of course, bicycles, and it’s time we went on the water. I would like to speak here today about inland navigation and waterways. I did that in the same place in 2018. Today, two years later, I can say: The coalition has further strengthened inland navigation and the federally owned inland waterways and has also taken corresponding measures in the federal budget.
A look at the figures shows it: Investments in federal waterways will increase from almost 845 million euros to around 1 billion euros in 2021, despite a lower total volume of the federal budget and section 12 in 2021. In my opinion, section 12 contains just for the inland shipping many good aspects. I rate it positively that around 700 million euros have been earmarked for replacement, expansion and new construction measures on federal waterways. That is around 240 million euros more than this year. Additional funds will also be made available for a renewed increase in jobs in the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration – WSV for short.
(Applause from MPs from the CDU / CSU and MP Mathias Stein [SPD])
Additional staff is urgently needed; because the WSV, which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of our federal waterways, is more than busy and faces major challenges. However, the tense skilled labor market in connection with the perceived lack of attractiveness of the public service also creates a problem, which further delays the filling of vacancies. Due to the shortage of skilled workers at the WSV, but also in the private construction industry, there is always a delay in the implementation of construction projects on our waterways. This is a serious problem, as many hydraulic structures are now very old. Around half of the weir systems and around 66 percent of the lock systems were built before 1950, around 10 to 20 percent before 1900. This is why numerous hydraulic structures must be renovated or rebuilt at the same time now and in the near future.
The applied principle of “preservation before expansion and new construction” can only be the right priority given the circumstances. But here, by the way, we mustn’t neglect the side waterways; because they are of central importance for water tourism and thus for the local economy, especially in the respective regions. The maintenance and functionality of this waterway transport infrastructure are also important for the federal government.
The funds for subsidies for training and further training for inland navigation will also increase by almost 1 million euros. There is also more money for the promotion of engines and the modernization of inland navigation. The budget goals “Digital test fields in ports” and “Digital test fields on waterways” as well as the title “Sustainable modernization for coastal shipping” are also newly created.
On the whole, of course, I am pleased with the positive trend, especially when it comes to renovation and replacement buildings. But, dear Andi Scheuer, you might have to go a step further in order to stay up to date and to be able to look to the future. But I think we will still do that in the upcoming budget negotiations. I see that this is also the right thing to do here and money well invested. A small example – we may have already heard that here today -: Large modern motor cargo ships can replace up to 150 trucks.
(Applause from MPs of the AfD)
Ultimately, that is also something that we can do for our climate.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.