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European maritime transport policy until 2018

This Communication defines the main strategic objectives of the European maritime
transport policy until 2018 and recommends actions to increase the competitiveness and
sustainability of this sector.

Commission Communication - Strategic goals and recommendations for the EUs
maritime transport policy until 2018 [COM(2009) 008 final].

80% of international freight is carried by sea and 40% of intra-European freight
uses Short Sea Shipping. European ports welcome more than 400 million passengers
each year.
European shipping in globalised markets
European flags must face ever-fiercer competition from foreign competitors who are
favoured by more flexible regulations, cheaper labour or government support. This
imbalance, coupled with factors related to the current economic crisis, could result in
maritime transport activities being relocated from Europe to third countries.
Action by the European Union (EU) should contribute to:

supporting the development of a competitive and stable framework which will

support greener shipping efforts and innovation;

supporting fair competition rules and fair international maritime trade;

aligning the substantive competition rules globally.

Human resources, seamanship and maritime know-how
In order to address the growing shortage of marine professionals and improve the image
of the sector, the EU must value maritime careers and skills. Maritime training centres
have been called upon to cooperate more closely. In addition, labour mobility should be
encouraged, such as is the case for officers when they are trained. The EU must also
work on developing better working conditions on board ships by requiring compliance
with the ILOs (International Labour Organization) Maritime Labour Convention.
Quality shipping
Zero-waste, zero-emission maritime transport is a priority for the EU. To this end, the
EU should continue its efforts by prioritising the following actions:

reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping;

improving the environmental quality of marine waters;

managing ship-generated waste and ship dismantling;

reducing sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides emissions from ships;

promoting more ecological shipping.

The EU has a comprehensive regulatory framework. However, Member States should
work on developing ever more secure maritime transport. The mandate and functioning
of the European Maritime Safety Agency should be redefined so that it can provide better
assistance. The EU and Member States should monitor compliance with European and
international regulations. The EU should collaborate more closely with its partners in
the IMO (International Maritime Organization) and contribute to a shared maritime safety
culture with neighbouring countries, with regard to port State inspections in particular.
The EU and its Member States should pursue the implementation of a comprehensive
framework of security measures. The actions of the EU and its Member States should

navigation area security;

the protection of crews and passengers;

the application of rules commensurate with those at international level;

the promotion of a security culture within international shipping.

The EU should improve surveillance of vessels sailing in or near its waters by focusing
its actions on:

the implementation of an integrated information management system in

compliance with the e-maritime initiative;

the creation of an integrated, cross-border and cross-sectoral EU surveillance

Exploiting the potential of Short Sea Shipping
Intra-European shipping is expected to increase between now and 2018. New
infrastructures should be created and existing infrastructures should be strengthened. EU
action should focus on:

the creation of a European maritime transport space without barriers;

port policy as announced by the Commission in its Communication 2007/616/EC;

compliance with environmental regulations on port development;

Trans-European Transport Networks;

making Short Sea Shipping more attractive.

Europe a world leader in maritime research and innovation
EU research and development efforts should benefit maritime transport with regard to:

creating new ship designs and equipment for safer and cleaner transport;

technologies to maximise the efficiency of the transport chain;

inspection and monitoring tools and advanced telecommunication systems.

This Communication forms part of a broader Community strategy for transport, energy
and environmental protection.