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Commission Work Programme Confirms New Ports Package

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The European Commission recently presented its work programme for 2012, which also outlines initiatives planned for 2013 and 2014.

The Commission’s new ‘Ports Package’ is mentioned in the 2013 action list. It is referred to as the development of a “framework for future EU ports’ policy, including legislative proposals”. The work programme explains that “this initiative will better enable ports to efficiently handle the increasing freight volumes to enable seamless logistics chains; review the restrictions on provisions for port services and enhance the transparency on ports’ financing, clarifying the destination of public funding to the different port activities with a view to avoid any distortion of competition; and establish a mutually recognisable framework on the training of port workers in different fields of port activities.”

Other initiatives relevant for ports include, in 2012, a legislative proposal to include maritime transport emissions in the EU’s Greenhouse Gas reduction commitment, a review of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, the development of a framework on maritime spatial planning, a new rail package and a review of critical infrastructure legislation. In 2013, an EU adaptation strategy for climate change is envisaged, as well as a review of air quality policies, a framework for E-freight and an internal road market package.  Environment remains high on the agenda in 2014, with new targets on waste and landfill, an assessment and possible revision of the environmental liability Directive and the set up of a biodiversity strategy.

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