Cooperation with neighbouring countries on mobility
Through effective partnerships with Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Sweden, Rijkswaterstaat aims to coordinate cross-border, day-to-day operations on our main road and waterway networks.
Sharing practical expertise improves the quality of work and broadens experience, but it also helps to avoid duplication in operational activities.
We are in regular contact on operational matters, ranging from planning, management and maintenance to work instructions. This applies not only to our roads, but also to our waterways: we call this ‘cooperative corridor management’. We cooperate at various levels, including ministries, executive agencies and industry parties.
Our work with Germany (BAW, BASt, BMVI, Die Autobahn, GDWS and Straßen.NRW) and the United Kingdom (Highways England) covers transport, digital infrastructure and procurement management. We are working with Voies Navigables de France on facilities for electronic reporting of voyage and cargo data and on construction technology for locks.
We also develop joint projects with neighbouring countries, such as the Nuvit project, which we are currently implementing together with Trafikverket in Sweden.
Belgium - Roads and Traffic Agency
Rijkswaterstaat has worked closely with the Flemish Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV) for many years. The AWV oversees around 7,000 km of regional roads and motorways, in addition to more than 7,700 km of cycle paths.
AWV’s partnership with Rijkswaterstaat focuses on exchanging information and ensuring timely communication, preparing balanced and objective programmes, effectively managing available knowledge and executing high-quality, innovative work.
In 2006, the AWV and Rijkswaterstaat signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). This MoA focused on specific avenues of cooperation, such as the Traffic Management Systems (CHARM Programme), road safety initiatives and big data applications.
BAW - Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau/Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute
The Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) works to maintain and develop waterways as a safe, economically viable and environmentally friendly mode of transport.
BAW advises and supports the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. This is done in the specialised field of waterway engineering with regard to the expansion, new construction, operation and maintenance of the federal waterways.
Rijkswaterstaat works closely with BAW to provide expert opinions, exchange technical concepts and on-site advice, contribute to the drafting of international standards (CEN) and share practical research and development.
As part of a major reform, the federal government's Autobahn GmbH was established on 13 September 2018. In 2021, Autobahn GmbH took over the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, financing and asset management of the entire German motorway network. These activities are currently carried out by 16 state road authorities. With around 13,000 km of motorway, it will be one of the largest road authorities in Europe.
In 2019, Autobahn GmbH joined the Four Nation Road-Worker Safety Working Group together with Highways England, the Flemish Roads and Traffic Agency, the German Straßen, NRW (North Rhine-Westphalian road authority) and Rijkswaterstaat. Three more working groups followed in 2021, covering winter maintenance, bridges and road pavement.
UK - National Highways
Rijkswaterstaat and National Highways (until 2021: Highways England) work together on a project-by-project basis.
In the CHARM programme, the 2 organisations are jointly developing and implementing a future-proof traffic management system. Both parties want to work more efficiently and flexibly in their traffic centres with the same number of staff.
An intelligent ICT platform will be used in the traffic centres and among the inspectors and officers on duty. In the CHARM programme (2015-2020), they worked together to implement an existing traffic management platform: DYNAC, an Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) from market leader Kapsch TrafficCom.
The Coordination and Support Action AM4INFRA aimed to overhaul the legacy of European transport networks, which have been developed in an incremental (and mostly fragmented) way over time, in the specific context of each mode and country, under different policies and service levels
Building on ongoing bottom-up actions, best practices and current experiences of four National Infrastructure Agencies, AM4INFRA has delivered the first ever common European asset management framework approach. AM4INFRA enables consistent and coherent cross-asset, cross-modal and cross-border decision making in the context of the European White Paper on Transport.
France - Voies Navigables de France (VNF)
Voies Navigables de France (Waterways of France) is the national operator of inland waterways. It is the only organisation working exclusively across the entire French territory and is the beating heart of the country’s river ecosystem.
Since 2017, Rijkswaterstaat has had a cooperation agreement with VNF for scientific and technical support in connection with the design and construction of the Euro Canal Seine Nord Europe project.
In addition to this agreement, it was decided to establish a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between VNF and Rijkswaterstaat. The MoA will intensify cooperation in areas such as water management, traffic management and ageing infrastructure.
Sweden - Trafikverket
Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration, is a government agency responsible for long-term infrastructure planning for road, rail, water and air transport. It builds, operates and maintains all state-owned roads and railways and operates many ferry services. It is a member of the Nordic Road Association.