Nieuw pakket reglementeringen inzake de Europese havens in 2013

The European Commission pursues its plan of reviewing by 2013 the legislation applicable to port activities. The future set of measures should ensure that ports are in a position to face new challenges and opportunities right up until 2030.

The transport white paper published in March 2011 highlighted the need to adopt a suitable regulatory framework in the port sector.

On 8 September, the European Commission Vice-President, Siim Kallas, announced the Commission's intention to bring forward the new package by 2013. The overall objective of the package will be to help ports to remain competitive and support their extensive growth potential.

According to the Vice-President, European ports will face increasing productivity challenges and investment needs, as well as issues surrounding employment and integration into cities. Therefore, the objective is to draft an appropriate legal framework that will enable them to enjoy continued economic prosperity.

In practice, three main objectives will be pursued:

First, the package will aim at ensuring that port services are provided in a competitive and open environment. The restrictions on the provision of port services will therefore be reviewed in the sense of adapting them to the new economic, social and industrial requirements.

The second objective will be an easing of the administrative burden on port activities. Therefore, initiatives such as the blue belt project will be strongly supported. To remind you, the blue belt project aims at enabling short sea shipping companies to operate freely within the internal market by applying simplified administrative procedures.

Last but not least, the third objective of the package is to improve the transparency of port financing in order to avoid distortion of competition and encourage private investors to participate in port projects.

Before submitting the proposal in 2013, the European Commission will first organize a conference on the future of European ports, launch a consultation among the stakeholders and carry out an in-depth assessment of the sector.