On 11 April 2006 experts from navigation and water protection agencies in the Rhine bordering states and of interest groups and environmental associations met for a first joint international workshop. The target of the workshop was to improve the exchange of information on important aspects of water protection and navigation and to improve the mutual understanding of those concerned.
The starting point in particular concentrated on activities in both areas on EU level. On the one hand, the European Water Framework directive is designed to protect the ecological functionality of the Rhine, but at the same time it takes into account water use, such as navigation. According to statements of the European Commission (NAIADES) inland navigation will in future be supported to a greater extent, in order to contribute to the sustainability of the traffic system.