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A busy September “thanks” to the EU Commission…

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A busy September “thanks” to the EU Commission… 

FEPORT Newsletter – September 2020

These last weeks (including the Summer ones) have been quite busy for FEPORT as well as for many sister organizations which had to answer several consultations, EU Commission’s consultants’ interviews and questionnaires regarding important topics, for instance about the Sustainable mobility strategy and the White Paper on Foreign Subsidies.

The Green Deal and now the COVID-19 crisis indeed require ambitious policy actions that will allow the EU to recover in a smart, agile, resilient, sustainable and “clear headed” manner.

FEPORT believes that the Green Deal can enable the development of so-called “industrial ecosystems” which not only offer eco-friendly business opportunities but also facilitate intercompany innovative collaboration aimed at enhanced energy and resource efficiency along the way.

Port ecosystems, which are more than a component of maritime transport, represent a fantastic opportunity to attract industries and manufacturing centres into the vicinity of ports. Many port activities and related investments directly or indirectly contribute in making the Green Deal happen. They will also support the decarbonization process on maritime transport.

Private port companies and terminals are expanding their business to include the production of renewable energies and intermodal services with low carbon footprint. They are active promoters towards EU institutions of environmentally friendly modes of transport connecting land to sea.

Multimodal logistic infrastructures in ports can indeed support the transformation of the role of ports be it on the seaside or on the hinterland side. It will be essential that policy makers work hand in hand with all port stakeholders to better understand the new dynamics of value chains and propose relevant accompanying measures and policies. Regulatory frameworks including competition rules must be rethought to support innovative models and ensure a real level playing field between all actors of the maritime logistics chain.

FEPORT has also replied to the consultation on the White Paper on Foreign Subsidies and hopes that the consultation on the White Paper on Foreign Subsidies will translate into concrete and effective measures against distortive practices.

The White Paper recognizes a fundamental regulatory gap in existing EU legislation on competition, trade, public procurement and in EU funding as regards distortions arising from foreign subsidies in the Internal Market.

FEPORT subscribes to the findings of the White Paper and has been supportive of the previous initiative of the Commission aiming at adopting an efficient FDI screening mechanism. However, we believe that there is a need for a more effective response. Europeans must acquire a better capacity to anticipate potential risks from FDI, including a common perspective regarding strategic assets and ecosystems.

In this respect, FEPORT hopes that the inclusion of the port sector as part of the ecosystem “Mobility-Transport-Automotive” will translate into policies that recognize the strategic nature of ports.

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