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Valletta Declaration casts important foundation for future EU shipping strategy

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Niels Smedegaard

European Transport Ministers adopted Wednesday afternoon a ministerial declaration on maritime transport. The declaration outlines priorities for the EU’s maritime transport policy, focusing on competitiveness, digitalisation and decarbonisation. The so-called ‘Valletta Declaration’ was agreed at the end of a two-day ministerial stakeholder conference organised by the Maltese Presidency of the EU.

Addressing the conference on Tuesday via a video statement, ECSA President Niels Smedegaard congratulated the Maltese Presidency for the initiative and welcomed the Valletta Declaration as an important foundation to prepare the EU shipping strategy for the next decade. “Digitalisation is rightly identified as a key priority”, said Niels Smedegaard, “From a technological point of view it should be very easy to establish a genuine European Single Window. We just need the political will to do it. Let’s not lose the momentum we now have by backtracking on the level of ambition”.

Referring to the Monitor Deloitte study that ECSA presented during European Shipping Week, Niels Smedegaard also emphasised the need for a global orientation: “The good news is that EU shipping policy as outlined in the current maritime strategy provides an excellent basis. But more maritime growth can be achieved with a more globally-oriented approach, which recognises that shipping activities form the core of the maritime cluster.”

The ECSA President concluded his statement by reaching out to policy-makers and stakeholders: “We want to work together on an ambitious shipping strategy for the period 2019-2028. We are ready to share our ideas in a constructive and open-minded spirit, using the opportunity of the European maritime year to the fullest extent possible.”

The Maltese Presidency communication on the topic.

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