Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
A feasibility study on the restoration of Inland Waterway E40 Dnieper‐Vistula was undertaken between 2013-2015 as an EU-funded Poland, Belarus and Ukraine cross-border cooperation action, covering the regions of Lublin, Brest and Volyn. After completion the study was shared with major stakeholders in the regions. No follow-up action on the basis of the study is financed from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument or the European Neighbourhood Instrument.
The recent Indicative trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Investment Action Plan for the Eastern Partnership does not include the sections of the E40 Inland Waterway constituted by the upper Dnipro river in Ukraine and the Pripyat river in Belarus due to environmental and economic considerations. Yet, the plan identifies potential investments for dredging and improving ports along the lower Dnipro section south of Kyiv. Those sections are not covered by the abovementioned study.
In case of any investment in Ukraine potentially harmful to environment, and in the context of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the Commission expects Ukraine to apply the requirements of the Strategic Impact Assessment (IA) and the Environmental IA Directives, which also provide for public consultation. In addition, both Ukraine and Belarus are parties to the Convention on Environmental IA in a Transboundary Context.
As regards the Polish component of the project, due to its character and scale it would have to be subject to an appropriate IA on Natura 2000 and in conformity with the Water Framework Directive. For transport projects of this type, any analysis of alternatives would also have to include a study of other modes of transport. This project is not part of the TEN-T.