European networks

Find out more about some of the European networks in which Rijkswaterstaat is active.

CEDR - Conference of European Directors of Roads

The Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) is a non-profit organisation of Europe’s national road administrations that promotes excellence in road management. CEDR consolidates its position as the platform for Road Directors and National Road Administrations (NRA's) that reliably and effectively facilitates benchmarking and sharing of knowledge and best practice. For example collaborations and sharing of resources in joint projects and professional networking and competence building.

CEDR’s strategic goals are to help NRA's, to anticipate future trends and to face new challenges, for example:

  • reinforce NRAs’ role as key providers of efficient and seamless mobility from an end user perspective within the transport system
  • facilitate and optimise the efficient use of resources, making the best use of existing infrastructures
  • improve the safety and sustainability of roads, and reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Rijkswaterstaat is a founding member of CEDR and participates actively in CEDR’s board meetings as well as in many of CEDR’s working groups. Rijkswaterstaat often participates in funding for the CEDR Transnational Research Programme, which operates through a series of annual transnational calls on topics that address the needs of European road authorities.

Rijkswaterstaat and CEDR both interact with PIARC.

CEN – Comité Européen de Normalisation

CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, is an association that brings together the National Standardization Bodies of 34 European countries. CEN is 1 of the 3 European Standardization Organizations (together with CENELEC and ETSI) that have been officially recognized by the European Union and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as being responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level.

CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other technical documents in relation to various kinds of products, materials, services and processes. CEN supports standardization activities in relation to a wide range of fields and sectors, including: air and space, chemicals, construction, consumer products, defence and security, energy, the environment, food and feed, health and safety, healthcare, ICT, machinery, materials, pressure equipment, services, smart living, transport and packaging.

CCR - Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine

Dating back to the 1815 Vienna Congress, the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine is the oldest international organisation in modern history. Its legal foundation is the Revised Convention for Navigation on the Rhine, referred to as the Mannheim Document, of 17 October 1868.

The Central Commission is an up-to-date international institution with an administration that enables it to effectively address all issues concerning inland navigation. It promotes the development of close cooperation with other international organisations in the field of European transport policy and with non-governmental organisations active in the field of inland navigation. Rijkswaterstaat is a founding member of the CCR.

Bonn Agreement

The Bonn Agreement is the mechanism by which 10 governments, together with the European Union, cooperate in dealing with pollution of the North Sea by oil and other harmful substances. The signatories to the Agreement are the Governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union. Spain was welcomed as a Bonn Agreement Contracting Party at a Ministerial meeting in 2019.

Under the umbrella of the Bonn Agreement, BE-AWARE I and BE-AWARE II produced the first area-wide risk assessments of marine pollution in the North Sea and the potential impacts of a pollution incident. HNS-MS, ARCOPOL, MARINIER and MARPOCS are related, but external projects intended to aid in the preparedness and response capability to Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) spills.

ERTRAC - European Road Transport Research Advisory Council

The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) is the European Technology Platform (ETP) for Road Transport. ERTRAC provides a strategic vision for road transport research and innovation in Europe through the following tasks:

  • define strategies and roadmaps to achieve this vision, through the definition and update of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and research implementation roadmaps
  • stimulate effective public and private investment in road transport research and innovation
  • contribute to improving coordination between the European, national, regional public and private R&D activities on road transport
  • enhance the networking and clustering of Europe’s research and innovation capacities
  • promote European commitment to research and technological development, ensuring that Europe remains an attractive region for researchers
  • enhancing global competitiveness of transport industries
  • support the implementation of Horizon Europe, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.


The vision of the European Road Assessment Programme is to strive for a Europe free of high-risk roads. EuroRAP contributes to halving road deaths by 2030 by ensuring that 75% of travel on TEN-T and primary roads across Europe are rated '3-star or better'.

FEHRL – Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

FEHRL (the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories) is an international association of national road research institutes, including members throughout the EU member states, EFTA countries and Eastern European countries, but also Israel and the USA.

FEHRL’s primary objective is to provide opportunities for identifying research priorities and to create a positive climate for cooperation between its institute-members. FEHRL’s mission is to promote and facilitate collaboration on road research and provide high-quality information and advice on technologies and policies related to roads. Staff from the national institutes provide the technical input for all projects. FEHRL’s objectives are, through the specification and delivery of research.

  • to provide scientific input to European and national government policy on highway engineering and road transport matters
  • create and maintain an efficient and safe road and infrastructure network
  • increase innovation in road and infrastructure construction and related industries
  • improve the energy efficiency of road and infrastructure engineering and operations
  • and protect the environment and improve the quality of life.

Rijkswaterstaat is a member of FEHRL together with TNO and Delft University of Technology.

IENE – Infrastructure and Ecology Network Europe

IENE is a network of experts working with various aspects of transportation, infrastructure and ecology. The establishment of IENE in 1996 was originally an initiative of the Road and Hydraulic Engineering Division (Rijkswaterstaat-DWW) of the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.

The network aims to provide an independent, international and interdisciplinary arena for the exchange and development of expert knowledge – and with the aim to promote a safe and ecologically sustainable pan-European transport infrastructure. IENE arranges international conferences, workshops, training seminars and symposia, initiates collaboration projects and helps answering questions that require a joint international expertise.

Though IENE has been a network of experts on the thematic of infrastructure and biodiversity since 1996, it became a legal entity in 2021, founded by the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafiverket), the French Ministry for the Environment (Ministère de la Transition écologique) and Rijkswaterstaat.

More information: website IENE.

IMPEL - European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law

The European Union Network for the IMPEL is an international non-profit association of the environmental authorities of the European Union Member States, acceding and candidate countries of the EU, EEA and EFTA countries and potential candidates to join the European Community.

During the Presidency of the Netherlands for the European Union it was recommended to establish a European network for the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation: This network later became the IMPEL Network. The objectives are to create:

  • the necessary impetus in the European Union to make progress on ensuring a more effective application of environmental legislation, and
  • to improve the implementation of European environmental legislation and thus to implement it.

The IMPEL network is working on these issues in the form of knowledge exchange between its members by carrying out peer reviews. These are the IMPEL Review Initiatives, where implementing organisations are screened (on a voluntary basis) on their performance for, for example, licensing and enforcement, and the preparation of tools and guidance for a more effective implementation.

An example of such guidance is the Handbook Doing the right things for environmental permitting, which was co-developed by InfoMil and Rijkswaterstaat Environment. In 2021 InfoMil carried out a feasibility study on the IMPEL Capacity Building and Training Programme.

The IMPEL projects are grouped into 5 sector groups:

  • Industry and Air;
  • Waste and TFS;
  • Water and Land;
  • Nature protection;
  • Cross cutting tools and approaches.

Rijkswaterstaat Water, Transport and Environment has been IMPEL member since 2017.

Within the Netherlands, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate is the coordinating organisation for IMPEL.

More information: website Impel.

SedNet - European Sediment Network

SedNet aims at incorporating sediment issues and knowledge into European strategies – such as the WFD – to support the achievement of a good environmental status and to develop new tools for sediment management. The SedNet focus concentrates on sediment quality and quantity issues on a river basin scale, ranging from freshwater to estuarine and marine sediments.

SedNet brings together experts from science, administration and industry. It interacts with the various networks in Europe that operate at a national or international level or that focus on specific fields, such as science, policy making, sediment management, industry and education.

SedNet is member of the WFD Common Implementation Strategy Strategic Coordination Group and as such one of the initiators of the Integrated sediment management Guidelines and good practices in the context of the Water Framework Directive (TBP 2022). This document aims to help EU member states to (better) implement sediment management in WFD River Basin Management Plans.

Rijkswaterstaat, Port of Rotterdam Authority and Deltares are the Dutch members of the SedNet Steer Group. Port of Rotterdam Authority is the chair of SedNet and Deltares runs the SedNet secretariat. Engagement in SedNet provides Rijkswaterstaat and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management an international platform for verification, inspiration and state of the art insight in sediment policy development. 

More information: website SedNet.