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Parliament vote will facilitate private investment in ports

Date: 21/12/2016

The European Parliament has today voted in favour of the Ports Regulation. The Regulation will create an enabling framework for maritime ports to reap the full benefits of the internal market, the EU investment plan and the Energy Union.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said, "Ports provide jobs to 3 million Europeans and are the gateway of the EU internal market. A competitive port sector is therefore essential to Europe's economy and trade. The Regulation adopted today will give European ports a boost by facilitating private investment, by encouraging a better use of public resources and more efficient port operations, while ensuring an adequate training of workers."

In more detail, the Regulation is composed of three parts:

  • a framework for the provision of port services, including stable rules for transparent and open access to the market and adequate training of employees
  • financial transparency for port entities through their accounts and port charges in order to ensure a transparent and rational use of public funds
  • principles for local consultation of port stakeholders and mechanisms to handle disputes.

The Council is now expected to adopt the Regulation at one of its coming meetings.


The Commission has in parallel published new analytical grids on 2 December to provide guidance on the state aid rules applicable to the port sector. It is also simplifying the corresponding rules for investment aid and has carried two public consultations since March to identify the aided port investments that could be exempted from notification and fall in the General Block Exemption Regulation. The latter is planned to be amended in 2017.  

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