ECSA welcomes study on social aspects within shipping

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European shipowners’ body ECSA has welcomed the publication of the study conducted for the European Commission as it considers the social aspects of shipping a crucial foundation for a strong, competitive and sustainable European shipping industry.

Conducted for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), by a consortium led by Coffey International Development (Coffey), the study followed up on the proposals submitted by the Ad Hoc Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness in 2011.

“We welcome the publication of the report of the study on the social situation of shipping. Seafarers are the most important asset of European shipping and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the importance of the seafaring profession and the challenges seafarers face,” said Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary General. “ECSA’s recently published Maritime Growth Plan recognises the strategic importance of EU maritime-know-how and shows the commitment of European shipowners to enhancing the social sustainability of shipping and the skills base and competitiveness of European seafarers by further developing an attractive, smart, safe, social and quality shipping sector and a world-leading maritime cluster.”

“However, maintaining this leadership is increasingly difficult due to the current challenges posed to the global level playing field through protectionism and unfair state support,” Dorsman continued.

“We are pleased that the report reflects a number of priority actions of the European Social Partners. The work underway in the MapMar project is addressing the issue of statistical data on seafarers. The WESS project will contribute to an attractive, smart and sustainable working environment in the shipping sector through guidelines of use of internet on board, impact of increased digitalisation and automation and increased participation of women in shipping. Moreover, ECSA’s proposal for a European strategy for sustainable maritime jobs, growth and competitiveness aims to mainstream best practices in order to attract, support and grow a broader and more diverse talent pool to ensure a more sustainable and competitive industry and maritime cluster,” said Tim Springett, ECSA’s spokesperson to the European Social Dialogue Committee for Maritime Transport. “ECSA will carefully analyse the study’s findings and looks forward to sharing its views thereon with social partners,” continued Springett.

“We welcome that the report acknowledges the indisputable value of the European State Aid Guidelines in retaining the EU fleet. The tonnage tax system is essential for providing European shipowners a level playing field vis-à-vis non-EU competitors, safeguarding highly-skilled office jobs at the shipowners’ offices in Europe for many Europeans,” said Dorsman. “It must be ensured that the effectiveness of the current State Aid Guidelines is safeguarded and the international level playing field for EU shipowners is not jeopardised,” he added.

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