Improving the environmental and economic performance of the Danube inland vessels is the overall goal of the GRENDEL project. It aims to achieve a higher acceptance and use of inland waterway transport as an environmentally friendly transport mode contributing to economic growth and a more sustainable transport system in the Danube region. One of the core objectives of the project is to provide a fruitful ground for the establishment of dedicated instruments that trigger investments in the fleet. In this sense, the model state aid scheme is a key result of the project.

Next to the assessment of investment priorities in the Danube region, exchanges with the European Commission (in particular DG COMP, DG REGIO) and with the respective representatives of countries already implementing state aid schemes supporting the modernisation of the inland fleet (CZ, FR, DE, etc.), the representatives of public bodies of Danube States and from the private sector were consulted, including all GRENDEL partners. The findings formed the basis for the elaboration of the model state aid scheme and measures were pre-identified for becoming activities funded under national state aid schemes.

This model covers the 5 most important aspects of fleet modernisation:

(1) environmental performance,

(2) integration into logistics chains,

(3) increasing the safety of IWT,

(4) renewal of actors in the sector,

(5) innovative solutions.



The structure of the model state aid scheme addresses topics ranging from possible legal bases to operational parameters, as illustrated below.



The model state aid scheme was developed to serve as a guideline for Danube riparian countries to develop national state aid schemes for fleet modernisation according to their individual needs. In this sense, a number of Danube riparian countries already started to have discussions with regard to the implementation of a state aid scheme that would provide adequate financial incentives for the modernisation of their fleet.

Particularly important in this regard is the constant support provided by the European Commission, strongly encouraging the approach of GRENDEL and Member States to implement state aid scheme measures. This should be viewed as an encouragement for the Danube riparian countries to use the GRENDEL Model State Aid Scheme for the financing period 2021-2027 as a basis to develop investment incentives that could be financed via various types of financial resources - both national and European.

BRCCI, Bulgarian partner of the project, elaborated a draft state aid scheme for Bulgaria based on the model state aid scheme. In this objective, preparatory actions towards public authorities and stakeholders were conducted. The legal bases to consider at national level for the implementation, priorities and measures considered relevant for the needs of the fleet in Bulgaria are addressed in this document.

The model state aid scheme and the draft state aid scheme for Bulgaria are also available via the Library section of the website.

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)