The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) organised a seminar in the European Parliament recently, titled ‘Encouraging Growth and Investment in European Ports’.
The event was hosted by Lucy Anderson, MEP, and brought together key industry and institution stakeholders to discuss the future of European Ports Policy.
The seminar also explored the ‘red lines’ of various stakeholders in the negotiations over the ‘Port Services Regulation’ proposal, which is currently going through first reading in the European Parliament.
James Cooper, Chief Executive of Associated British Ports and Deputy Chairman of UKMPG, said: “The European Union has an important role to play in enabling and supporting investment, both in the ports and in the hinterland. What the ports sector needs is a stable business environment in which investors can have long term confidence.
“However, we feel that the Port Services Regulation proposal, even with the compromises currently being discussed, will still jeopardise the conditions necessary for long term investment and growth.”
Lucy Anderson said: “The Commission's 'one size fits all' proposal for a new port services regulation failed to recognise the complexity and diversity of the EU's port sector.
“Although UK Labour MEPs and the socialists and democrats group are working hard to mitigate the Commission's approach, this legislation remains a blunt instrument with very little added value.”
The three red lines set out for European Ports Policy are: the autonomy of ports in determining their own charging structures, transparency of public funding, and the full implementation of the internal market in the maritime sector.