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Review of EU shipping policy: no time for business as usual

Date: 19/10/2016

The future of European shipping policy was debated on 5th October 2016 in a seminar held in Valletta, Malta, a few days after the European Commission published the implementation report of its mid-term Review of EU Maritime Transport Policy.

“The seminar organised by ECSA comes at the right time. The European Commission just published its report on the EU maritime strategy, to set the stage for the Maritime Year 2017. The seminar shows how closely industry and Commission collaborate to make this year a joint success”, commented Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

The seminar was held in anticipation of the Maltese Presidency of the EU and the next edition of European Shipping Week, which will be held from 27 February to 3 March next year. “Maritime affairs will be high on the agenda of our Presidency. We look forward to supporting the European Shipping Week in Brussels and we’ll be hosting a joint ministerial and stakeholder event on 28-29 March”, said Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.

Addressing the audience of European shipowners, International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Secretary General Kitack Lim stressed the importance of global regulation, saying: “The EU can show global leadership and play a constructive role in IMO, for instance by ensuring timely ratification of international conventions, such as the Hong Kong Convention.”

Commissioner Violeta Bulc’s Head of Cabinet Matej Zakonjšek pointed out that we need to ensure the future of an efficient internal market and a strong homebase for European shipowners. “There is no time for business as usual, we need to start doing things differently to weather the storms the shipping sector is currently facing. And before we set new rules, we need to check what works and what doesn’t. Global business needs global rules”.

ECSA President Niels Smedegaard identified the main priorities for European shipowners: “On the top of our list is the creation of a European Single Window. This is our last chance to obtain this much-needed facilitation for shipping. We also need to have a global deal on CO2 emissions of shipping. The momentum is here that will lead to important decisions at IMO later this month. Let’s ensure there is no standstill afterwards, but a clear timetable for the next steps.”

The seminar was organised by the Malta International Shipowners’ Association and ECSA. It was a kick-off for the European Shipping Week to be organised in 2017 with focus on topics such as the maritime business climate, maritime careers, digitisation, emissions and safety.

Source: ECSA

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