Friday, December 11, 2015

Policy Paper on European Shipping Ranges from Short Sea Feeders to Training

Information Designed to Influence European Commission
Shipping News Feature
EUROPE – In an effort to provide the European Commission with constructive input ahead of the upcoming review of the EU shipping policy in 2017, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ESCA) has released a policy paper containing sixteen policy proposals, grouped in four thematic areas, aimed to enhance the competitiveness of European shipping and underline some of the immediate obstacles to growth that should be eliminated to help the shipping sector prepare for the future. Points covered range from training of suitable staff to development of more reliable short sea feeder routes.

The ESCA say that the proposals, which they are calling the 16+1 proposals, are fully aligned with some of the core political priorities of the European Commission, and include a concrete checklist for better and smarter shipping regulation. According to the ESCA most of the proposals can be described as ‘quick wins’ and can be implemented during the current mandate of the Commission. Thomas Rehder, ECSA President, said:

“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.

“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”

The industry suggestions include proposals to foster the EU’s global leadership in the shipping sector, as well as other proposals which could 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.

Along with the 16 policy proposals came the +1, a ‘better regulation’ checklist which was 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.

The ECSA said that it is essential that the European shipping industry remains a global leader, continuing a proud maritime tradition of excellence and innovation. This requires a successful and mutually beneficial shipping policy that is holistic and consistent across different areas of regulation. A mutually reinforcing partnership with EU policy-makers can make this happen and the ECSA is therefore keen to cooperate closely with the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States.