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March 30, 2017

EU transport ministers adopt declaration on maritime shipping

Transport ministers from the European Union (EU) have adopted a ministerial declaration on maritime transport known as the Valletta Declaration.

Transport ministers from the European Union (EU) have adopted a ministerial declaration on maritime transport known as the Valletta Declaration.

The Valletta Declaration establishes priorities for the EU's maritime transport policy and was adopted after a two-day ministerial stakeholder conference organised by Maltese Presidency of the EU.

It also intends to focus on competitiveness, digitalisation and decarbonisation within the EU maritime sector.

The ministers involved have agreed to continue strengthening the measures required to minimise the number of road deaths in the EU by 2020, with 2010 as base year.

The agreement has also paved the way for improved cooperation among EU member states, covering relevant authorities, civil society, research institutes and the private sector, reported Malta Winds.

Additionally, the Valletta Declaration has encouraged the introduction of road safety plans and strategies completed via a risk-based or integrated approach.

"The EU shipping policy as outlined in the current maritime strategy provides an excellent basis, but more maritime growth can be achieved with a more globally-oriented approach."

European Community Shipowners’ Associations president Niels Smedegaard welcomed the move, saying: “Digitalisation is rightly identified as a key priority; from a technological point of view, it should be very easy to establish a genuine European Single Window.

“We just need the political will to do it. Let's not lose the momentum we now have by backtracking on the level of ambition.

“The good news is that EU shipping policy as outlined in the current maritime strategy provides an excellent basis, but more maritime growth can be achieved with a more globally-oriented approach, which recognises that shipping activities form the core of the maritime cluster.”

Smedegaard also expressed the association’s interest in working together on shipping strategy for the period of 2019-2028.


Image: A container ship at sea. Photo: courtesy of HopsonRoad / Wikimedia Commons.

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