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"Athens Declaration" sets EU future maritime transport policy priorities

Date: 12/06/2014

The “Mid-term Review of the EU’s Maritime Transport Policy until 2018 and Outlook to 2020” constituted the theme of the Informal Maritime Ministerial Meeting of the EU Member States and EEA Countries.  The event was held on Wednesday, 7 May 2014, at Zappeion Megaron, within the context of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU that adopted the “Athens Declaration”.

During the proceedings of the Informal Maritime Ministerial Meeting, the “Athens Declaration” was unanimously adopted, and the policy priorities of the EU Member States and EEA Countries aiming at support, growth and sustainability of European shipping subsequently established. The Declaration constitutes the basis for the adoption of relevant Conclusions by the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council in June 2014.

The most important issues that have emerged from the “Athens Declaration” and constitute the EU’s shipping policy priorities in the years to come, are:

  • The important role of shipping for Europe’s economy and welfare.
  • Securing of long-term competitiveness of the EU’s maritime industry.
  • Increase employment in the maritime sector.
  • Free access to markets.
  • Short Sea Shipping playing a stronger role in the EU. (the Minister referred to the need for financially supporting the environmental performance of older Short Sea Ships so that they may comply with regulations such as low sulphur consumption standards, scrubbers or LNG fuelling, hopeful that this would be executed at shipyards within EU.)
  • Efficient EU-wide digital maritime services.
  • EU’s leading role in maritime technology & innovation.
  • Integration of the concept of “Insularity” in the shaping of EU policies. As expressed by the Minister - “the idea is to prevent territorial and social exclusion and isolation, in order to offer to smaller and remote islands equal growth opportunities.”

Find the “Athens Declaration” document on the following link:

http://www.shortsea.org.mt/userFiles/ATHENS%20DECLARATION_FINAL.pdf

 
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