Shipowners welcome Council conclusions on EU maritime transport policy

European Transport Ministers adopted conclusions on the priorities for the EU’s maritime transport policy until 2020. The conclusions endorse the content of the so-called “Valletta Declaration” adopted at the informal ministerial conference organised by the Maltese Presidency 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”, commented ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven. “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.

“European shipping is a strong global player. This should be cherished and the EU’scompetitive position should be further enhanced”, Patrick Verhoeven said.

European shipowners engage themselves to work with the EU institutions and stakeholders to achieve the following:

  1. Effective implementation of the maritime state-aid guidelines to allow for new growth opportunities of the maritime cluster and more competitiveness.
  2. Ambitious trade deals to keep global markets open.
  3. Simplification and rationalisation of administrative formalities and the establishment of a true single market for shipping.
  4. The establishment of global CO2 reduction objectives and measures through the International Maritime Organization.
  5. The promotion of maritime careers in the EU.