ESPO praises economic impact of EU ports

ESPO praises EU ports' economic impact

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has applauded the European Parliament’s acknowledgment and support for the strategic and crucial role that Europe’s ports play in European society and economy.

ESPO recognises Europe’s ports not just as the EU’s global gateways, logistical networks, and industrial clusters, but also as energy hubs. The Organisation has endorsed the EU Parliament’s call to further unify steps to increase the resilience and protection of Europe’s essential infrastructure, including ports.

READ: Establishing data for onshore-power demand ‘crucial precondition’ for adoption says ESPO

Ports look forward in that respect to the proposal to review the current Foreign Direct Investment Regulation, which is due to be released next week.

According to ESPO, this review should oblige all EU Member States to implement a foreign direct investment screening system and carry out screenings in a more harmonised manner.

This must enhance the necessary level playing field within Europe, and contribute to more legal certainty for potential investors aiming to invest in European ports.

ESPO also applauds the European Parliament’s emphasis on prioritising the competitiveness of Europe’s ports. The Parliament urges support for port roles in the energy transition, specifically in developing hydrogen infrastructure and expediting permitting procedures.

READ: Over half of surveyed ports now offer Onshore Power Supply, says ESPO

Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General, said: “This Parliament report is a strong document. It comes at a right time. Ports in Europe are in transition. Both in their traditional role as gateways to trade and hubs in the supply chains, as well as in their new roles as enablers of Europe’s important transitions, ports are playing an increasingly strategic and critical role.

“This can only be sustainable if there is a supporting policy in place that is stable, provides certainty and supports ports in remaining competitive, including towards ports outside Europe. For us, supporting and enabling ports to maintain their important role, to prepare and ‘build’ for their new roles in achieving Europe’s ambitions is the best possible port strategy.”

In July 2023, ESPO announced preparations to hold a final agreement discussion for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (AFIR) deployment and renewable/low-carbon fuel use in maritime transport.

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