The manifesto urges the maritime technology sector to be recognised as a strategic sector for Europe and calls for a dedicated European sectoral strategy. However, the social partners are disappointed that these requests have not translated into actions. For this reason, they joined forces to call on the new European Parliament and the new European Commission to use this mandate to invest in Europe’s industry and its workers.

Commenting on the manifesto, Luis Colunga, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, stated:

The maritime technology sector provides more than 1 million jobs in Europe. These are high-quality jobs and are crucial for many communities and regions across Europe. We cannot lose these jobs due to unfair trading practices in other countries! Workers demand that the European Institutions listen and stand up for European workers. We need a new strategy for the sector which tackles unfair trade and invests in shipyards and their workforces. There is no time to lose!

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In addition, Christophe Tytgat, Secretary General of SEA Europe, explained that the industry is committed to deliver zero emission ships and barges for inland navigation and short sea shipping by 2030 and ensure that by 2050 any ship will be zero emission. However, if Europe wants to stay ahead of innovation, achieve its Blue Growth targets and the decarbonization of shipping, then it must put the framework conditions once for all so that maritime technology companies can compete in equal conditions in a fully unbalanced global market.”

The risk of losing Europe’s knowhow, capabilities and leadership in advanced maritime technologies is high, particularly in the light of the ongoing unfair competition from Asia and China’s Made in China 2025 policy. Losing this knowhow and 1 million jobs is unaffordable for Europe! That’s why we are strongly calling upon the EU institutions to adopt a comprehensive sectoral EU policy to support the sector