October 21 - France, the Netherlands and the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia have signed the 'Declaration of Tallinn' in which they promise to undertake "all necessary steps" to bring the planned construction of the high capacity Seine-Nord Europ

The document was co-signed recently at the TEN-T Days mobility and transport congress in the Estonian capital by EU Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas.

Construction of the 106 km project to link the Oise River at Janville in northern France and the Canal Dunkerque-Escaut, east of Arleux in Belgium had been put on hold last year due to concern over its EUR4.2 billion (USD5.8 billion) cost of finance.

One of the main objectives set forward in the new joint statement is to work to obtain maximum financial support from the EU for the canal - which can be as much as 40 percent - for projects related to the creation of the new corridor for heavy lift and large gauge barge transport.

If the new Seine Nord connection is built it would increase the current capacity of 650 tonnes available over the existing canal network to 4,400 tonnes on the new waterway.

This would allow large vessels to transport heavy lift and out-of-gauge cargoes directly between the Paris area and the ports of Dunkerque, Antwerp, and Rotterdam, or further into Europe.
Pictured, we can see Kallas (centre) and fellow signatories of the joint declaration.