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EU mulls maritime industrial strategy to ensure competitiveness

May 29 ------ EU Member States have adopted Council conclusions calling for a maritime industrial strategy to enhance the sector’s competitiveness. The EU has called on the Commission “to develop a new strategy that supports the European maritime industry, which is vital for the EU’s strategic interests, in the digital and green transition and that encompasses all the dimensions of the sector’s competitiveness,” the paper states. The EU has also urged the private sector “to team up with public authorities to reinforce investments in energy efficiency and sustainable transportation.” 


European shipowners have welcomed the call by Member States on the need for a European maritime industrial strategy that supports the competitiveness of the maritime sector. “European shipowners believe that the green and digital transition of shipping is a great opportunity for Europe to scale up its industrial capacity and enhance the international competitiveness of the European maritime industry,” European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) said. 


“Shipping is a cornerstone of Europe’s energy, food and supply chain security. The European shipping fleet represents around 40% of the global fleet, making the sector a geopolitical asset for the continent. It is imperative to enhance the international competitiveness of European shipping as a prerequisite for a thriving European maritime industrial cluster. We believe that the EU can become a global leader in the production of clean shipping fuels and innovative technologies,” Sotiris Raptis, Secretary General of ECSA, commented. 


The Net-Zero Industry Act has already recognized clean shipping fuels as Net-Zero technologies, establishing a 40% benchmark for their production in Europe. 


An internationally competitive European shipping is the foundation of a maritime industrial strategy that scales up the production of clean fuels and technologies in Europe. European shipowners said they look forward to working with EU policymakers to ensure the shipping sector and the maritime cluster enhance their competitiveness on the international stage and continue to deliver for the security of Europe. 


Earlier this month, the Shipyards’ & Maritime Equipment Association of Europe (SEA Europe) and the federation of trade unions industriAll Europe – the social partners for shipbuilding and ship repair – called on the next European Commission to issue ‘a robust EU maritime industrial strategy’. The proposed European maritime industrial strategy will enable European shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers, as well as their employees to maintain Europe’s position as a global technology leader while regaining strategic markets and tapping into emerging markets. 



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