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Ports Regulation – a stepping stone for genuine motorways of the sea

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Patrick Verhoeven

Patrick Verhoeven

The European Parliament adopted today a report on the Regulation establishing a framework for the organisation of port services and financial transparency of ports presented by the rapporteur MEP Knut Fleckenstein.

The proposal was originally put forward in 2013 but stalled due to the European Parliament elections in 2014 and then picked up again by the same rapporteur. It was the subject of intense discussions and long negotiations.

ECSA’s Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven commented: “ECSA has deplored throughout the discussions that this proposal does not address some of the market access problems in ports shipowners face. However, now that after 15 years of discussions we finally have a first EU law on ports, we should build on this and see it as a first step towards a genuine motorways of the sea in which ports are key points.”

He added: “Especially for short sea shipping operators, who make frequent port calls and for whom by consequence well performing port services are proportionally extremely important, we call upon the European Commission to take now further efforts to ensure this sector can deliver its potential.”

ECSA highlighted its priorities for an EU short sea shipping agenda earlier this year with the adoption of its SSS brochure.

The Council is expected to give soon its green light to the ports regulation proposal and in this way the text will be adopted as EU law.

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