ETA participated in the first European Ports Forum (EPF) meeting, which was held on the 11th December in Brussels. The EC-launched group of experts in the field of maritime policy brings together 16 representatives of specific sectors in the port industry, European Commission officials and the representatives of each Member State. A full list of members can be found here.
The remit of the EPF is to “Exchange information and provide advice on port related matters. Provide advice to the Commission on initiatives to promote and support a uniform implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/352 establishing a framework for the provision of port services and common rules on the financial transparency of ports”.
Chaired by the European Commission (EC) the fist meeting kicked off in establishing the terms of reference and the rules of procedure of the Forum. Particularly of interest was the item that would be permanently in the agenda of the EPF, the implementation of the provision of port services and common rules on the financial transparency of ports. The EC gave an overview of the upcoming Regulation milestones and the Member States where asked to either report progress or to ask questions on the implementation. Questions and statements were made by Spain, Greece, Finland and Malta.
Other presentations were made during the day by DG Competition on GBER and by DG Mare on the blue growth hub.
The meeting came to an end with the expert presentation of Mr Olaf Merk of the European Transport Forum (OECD), which focussed on addressing shipping GHG emissions lessons form port-based initiatives. This was complemented by a presentation made by ESPO and Feport on the initiatives undertaken by ports in relation to environment sustainability. ETA, praised the initiatives undertaken by the ports and affirmed the commitment of the association to environment sustainability but warned that the Association is in favor of voluntary initiatives on the matter and would oppose taxes levied towards emissions by the ports.