European shipowners unveil 16+1 proposals to boost the EU’s shipping policy
In an effort to provide the European Commission with constructive input ahead of the upcoming review of the EU shipping policy in 2017, European shipowners unveiled on Tuesday 16+1 proposals to highlight the industry’s point of view and priorities, ECSA said in its press release.
“What we really want to show Transport Commissioner Bulc is that our proposals tie in with the Commission’s broader policy objectives. There are many low-hanging fruits that could allow us to make a tangible contribution to these goals” commented Thomas Rehder, ECSA President.
The industry suggestions include proposals to foster the EU’s global leadership in the shipping sector, as well as other proposals which will help complete the internal market for shipping, give a boost to jobs in the maritime cluster and help reduce the continent’s CO2 emissions through co-modality and a shift of passengers and cargo to sea.
Complementing the 16 policy proposals, a “better regulation” checklist is also put forward by EU shipowners, containing an international subsidiarity test to ensure that EU shipping regulation has added value above what can be achieved at international level, as well as seeking alignment with better regulation principles.
“Instead of presenting the Commission with a wish list, we are proposing a series of quick wins that are equally beneficial to the industry as they are to the EU. We sincerely hope our efforts will facilitate the work of the Commission services and we stand ready to assist them and support them in the most effective way” continued Mr Rehder.
Speaking at an ECSA high-level event organised for the occasion, Transport Commissioner Bulc thanked ECSA for its contribution and expressed the hope that the industry and the Commission can translate these priorities into concrete actions.
“The 16+1 ECSA points are a very holistic proposal. I invite the shipping industry to work closer with the Commission in the directions you propose. It's a process that will make us both stronger” said Ms Bulc.
Commenting on the mounting international competition faced by the shipping industry she added: “the European appetite for success has spread around the world. It is important for Europe to stay ahead of the curve.”
One of Ms Bulc’s recurring proposals was digitalisation and its many benefits in areas such as administrative simplification and the completion of the internal market for shipping, which reportedly remain a cornerstone of the Commission’s shipping policy.
Among the speakers was also Dutch EPP MEP Wim van de Camp, who was the rapporteur for the European Parliament report on the mid-term review of 2011 White Paper for Transport. He urged the Commission to come up with a shipping package in 2017, as was initially announced by the Transport Commissioner earlier this year and insisted on the importance of revitalising Short Sea Shipping in the EU.
Mark Frequin, Director General for Infrastructure in the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Mobility briefly presented the priorities of the upcoming Dutch Presidency of the Council, chief among which is an agreement on the EU Ports policy, the refit exercise on passenger ship safety legislation and a more pragmatic approach in the IMO. Special attention will be given to short sea shipping, with a conference organised by the Dutch Presidency in the Netherlands early 2016, to which ECSA shall participate.