In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) recently informed that its first priority will be the rescue and full recovery of the European shipping industry, instead of the European Green Deal.
In fact, this decision was made during a meeting of the Board of Directors of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), as Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans announced the COP26 postponement which had been scheduled to take place in Glasgow in October.
We should likewise not allow the European Green Deal to fail, due to the inability of our industry and our workers to contribute fully because of the current difficulties we are all experiencing from the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
…Mr. Frans Timmermans said.
Moreover, ECSA informed that the EU shipping industry will support the European Commission’s ambition concerning the Green Deal, but in order to make sure that their goal is reached they must first support the whole maritime industry which currently needs substantial investment and funding from the EU and national governments.
With the largest part of the European shipping industry being made up of small and medium enterprises, ‘shipping companies will need the support of national governments and the EU to mitigate any long-term repercussions from the pandemic. Judging from the current situation, it will not be realistic to assume that the industry is able to play its part, despite its full commitment to the cause, without first ensuring that companies can and must make full recovery.
At the moment, the European maritime industry is struggling to ensure that goods and medical supplies keep coming into Europe and flow out of Europe. Still, shipping companies are dealing with increasing difficulties due to liquidity issues, decreasing sources of financing, travel restrictions amongst others.
Overall, ECSA recently requested governments and Brussels to take action and adopt a rescue and recovery plan concerning the maritime field, which is now coming close to collapse following the COVID-19 impacts.