A recent proposal made to ensure that service costs are lowered and efficiency increased in the EU’s ports has received backing from a number of Members of European Parliament, according to Euractiv.com.
The port proposals come at a time when the UK is considering whether or not to stay in the EU; at present the UK looks as if it is most likely to stay, according to market research firm YouGov.
Knut Fleckenstein, a German Member of the European Parliament, said: “We have removed the obligation to give free market access to port services. Especially in regard to safety, ports must be able to decide how they organise their services models.
“For the first time during the course of a long discussion on the ports package, we can count on the support of ports, terminal operators and the unions.”
However, the Centre for Policy Studies recently said in a statement that: “The UK’s ports enjoy three major advantages: they are independent and free of government controls; they are market driven; and they operate in a good policy and planning framework.
“Ideally, the European Commission should be looking to emulate the privatised model adopted by the UK.”
Later adding that: “The uncertainty caused by having a new regulator – which will be able to insist on ‘price proportionality’ – is likely to undermine commercial and investor confidence in UK ports.”