The declaration clearly shows that the ministers place a huge importance on the competitiveness of the European shipping sector, in view of the vital and strategic role it plays in the EU economy, global trade and the common market

commented Mr Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary-General.

A very important element for the competitiveness of EU shipping are the EU State Aid Guidelines to Maritime Transport. The Ministers recognise its value in establishing the necessary conditions in which European shipping can increase its contributions to the EU economy.

To tackle unfair trade practices, the Ministers have stressed the need for more coordinated action to safeguard EU maritime interests, through Free Trade Agreements and maritime transport agreements with third countries.

Maritime security is vital for global trade and economic development. The increased numbers of piracy and armed robbery incidents in West Africa demonstrate the increased danger for seafarers. ECSA agrees with the Ministers’ statement on the problematic situation caused by piracy and armed robbery, and reiterates its call for urgent and coordinated EU action to ensure that vessels and crew can operate in a safe and secure environment

Mr. Dorsman added.

In addition, ECSA is pleased to read Member States’ commitment to a complete and timely implementation of the European Maritime Single Window Environment Regulation and looks forward to learning more about the development of a “Waterborne Digital Roadmap”, announced for 2021.

ECSA also welcomed Transport ministers' affirmation of the importance of the European Social Dialogue and have reflected the same objectives in ECSA’s proposed “Maritime Growth Plan on Sustainable Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness”.

ECSA believes that important steps forward will already be seen in this legislature if all stakeholders collaborate to improve the training, competitiveness and employment opportunities of EU seafarers and work towards an attractive, smart, safe, social and sustainable quality shipping.

We cannot do it alone. We can only do it together. With this declaration, the industry is reassured that it has the full support of all the Member States

Mr. Dorsman concluded.