The protesters against the pension reform in France carried out targeted actions destabilizing navigation on the internal waters of the country (including on the Rhine River) and intentionally created obstacles to the free movement of goods, according to a joint statement of the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and the European Barge Union (EBU).
Mass protests against the pension reform in France have been ongoing since early last month. In March, Reuters, citing the German Waterways and Shipping Authority (WSA), reported that protesters were blocking the work of the locks in Strasbourg and Marckolsheim, which caused large-scale disruptions in the movement of ships on sections of the Rhine in France, Germany, and Switzerland.
According to an appeal by the ESC and the EBU to the European Commission, a number of ships are still blocked between the two sets of locks.
The organizations call on the European Commission to take action and oblige France to fulfill the requirements of the international convention that regulates navigation on the Rhine and obliges each country to ensure unhindered navigation in their territory.