The strategy focuses on policies to make waterborne transport more green and sustainable, in line with the European Green Deal, as well as leverage the opportunities offered by digitalization and automation in shipping.

From the perspective of Europe’s maritime technology sector, SEA Europe highlights the new strategy contains a number of helpful proposals, such as:

  • An explicit reference to the contribution from the ‘Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport’ Partnership, adopted under Horizon Europe, in terms of acceleration of research and innovation in green technologies and sustainable fuels.
  • A reference to use the revenues from the EU Emission Trading Scheme, following its extension to waterborne transport, for investments in European research and innovation so as to decrease further emissions.
  • A proposal to finance the modernization of fleets, including with retrofitting and fleet renewal schemes, also in waterborne transport, and the recognition that such support “will help to preserve a thriving manufacturing ecosystem in areas where Europe has a strategic technological advantage such as the vessel manufacturing industries”.
  • The acknowledgement that waterborne transport equipment and solutions are the engine of European exports and that a sustainable and smart transformation of the sector is an opportunity for Europe’s manufacturing industry to lead globally.

It goes without saying that Europe’s shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers are strategic for Europe to realize numerous EU policies, including the European Green Deal and Digitalization Agenda. But also the acknowledgement that finance can be used to modernize fleets, inter alia through a fleet renewal scheme, is very much welcomed,

...said Christophe Tytgat, SEA Europe’s Secretary General.

SEA Europe represents close to 100% of the European shipbuilding industry in 16 nations.