European Transport Ministers yesterday adopted conclusions on the priorities for the EU’s maritime transport policy until 2020, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) informed.
The conclusions endorse the content of the so-called ‘Valletta Declaration’ adopted at the informal ministerial conference organised by the Maltese Presidency at the end of March.
“With the current EU strategy for maritime transport policy 2009-2018 coming to an end in less than two years’ time, we are pleased that the Council is identifying what to prioritise next,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, commented.
“The conclusions adopted today set out the right priorities and challenges: competitiveness, simplification and digitalisation, decarbonisation and the reduction of air emissions,” he added.
ECSA believes that these priorities must be developed beyond 2020 and calls for an ambitious shipping strategy for the period 2019-2028. For EU shipping to flourish, it needs a stable, forward looking policy and regulatory framework with a global orientation, according to ECSA.
“European shipping is a strong global player. This should be cherished and the EU’s competitive position should be further enhanced,” Verhoeven said.
European shipowners engage themselves to work with the EU institutions and stakeholders to achieve the effective implementation of the maritime state-aid guidelines to allow for new growth opportunities of the maritime cluster and more competitiveness and ambitious trade deals to keep global markets open.
Additionally, European shipowners aim to simplify and rationalise administrative formalities and establish “a true single market” for shipping. They also aim to create global CO2 reduction objectives and measures through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and promote maritime careers in the EU.