The Seine-Nord Europe Canal was launched on 13 October in the Oise region, on the site of the resealing of the river Oise at Montmacq, with the first symbolic shovelfuls of earth. The event took place in the presence of Xavier Bertrand, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Société du Canal Seine-Nord Europe (SCSNE) and President of the Region Hauts-de-France, Jérôme Dezobry, Chairman of the Management Board of the SCSNE, Thierry Guimbaud, Managing Director of Voies navigables de France (VNF, the future operator of the canal), and Marie-Céline Masson, Manager of the Seine-Scheldt European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) and Territorial Director for the Nord-Pas de Calais region of VNF.
At the initiative of local employment partners, a Canal Jobs Forum was also held throughout the day in Compiègne, to enable residents and companies to discuss and make contact with each other around the jobs issue linked to the construction of the Canal: at the height of the works, up to 6,000 jobs are expected! SCSNE (a member of the Seine-Scheldt EEIG) and the Hauts-de-France Regional Federation of Public Works (FRTP) signed an agreement to promote the public works professions generated by the project.
The day ended with a public meeting in Compiègne, attended by elected officials and representatives of the region. More than a hundred participants were able to discuss with the SCSNE teams, who came to give details of the outline of the Canal in the Oise, to explain the work in progress and to come and to address essential issues such as the environment.
Once the 107 km of this missing link in the Seine-Scheldt link is completed by 2030, this 1,100 km long cross-border wide-gauge river network will enable the supply of river freight transport throughout northern Europe to be developed even further.