ECSA launches five-year plan for EU shipping policy

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 01 November 2019

ShipInsight


In line with the new cycle of the EU institutions where the European Parliament has just started its mandate and the European Commission's College is being composed, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) has published its new strategic priorities for 2019-2024.

Entitled "Sailing ahead - European shipping sets ambitious goals for its next chapter", the publication outlines ten priority areas which the European shipping industry will be focussing on.

"To be very clear, climate is the top priority for the whole shipping sector," commented ECSA Secretary General, Martin Dorsman. "The industry is keen to work with its European and global partners to reach the goal set by the IMO to cut CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2050. This means we need to start working now to ensure the necessary alternative fuels, bunker infrastructure and technologies are developed in time to be taken up on a global scale. This is a huge challenge and also opportunity for the sector."

Following this are the issues of trade and competitiveness. Faced with the disruptions caused by the US-China trade war, the breakdown of the global multilateral trading system as well as the state-funded unfair competition posed by other global shipping centres, the European shipping industry needs to recalibrate its competitive advantages in order to remain on top of its game.

A successful European shipping industry directly impacts for the whole European economy, as 76% of the EU's trade in goods is transported by sea. Closely related to these priorities is the area of human resources:

"Europe has a long maritime tradition that spans over at least three millennia. Our industry is strong due to our unique knowhow and talent pool, resulting from this history. Attracting and retaining talent is intrinsic to the survival of our industry. This can only be achieved by investing in training and education, and respecting diversity and social values. We also need to align this with our ambitious climate goals and the use of the latest maritime technologies, to make our companies more competitive and attractive to investors and customers," continued Dorsman.

The other priority areas covered in the new strategy publication are: internal market, digitalisation and innovation, safety, legal affairs, taxation and better regulation.

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