The EU Commission strongly supports Short Sea Shipping as an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient way to transport goods and passengers.
"The development of Short Sea Shipping is at the core of the European transport policy as it is a central part of Europe's future sustainable transport system. We need to develop a network of real Motorways of the Sea that link European regions as well as the EU to its neighbours.Today's meeting has been useful to understand the difficulties experienced by the sector and to think about possible solutions", said Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani in charge of transport. Participants reviewed ongoing policy measures and agreed to analyse by 10/2009 a number of additional short-term support measures which should help the sector to emerge strengthened from the current crisis. Various types of incentives were identified, such as
Promoting environmentally-performing vessels;
Loan guarantees for risk mitigating measures for the start up of new services in new Short Sea Shipping Motorways of the Sea start;
Encouraging investments for port developments and hinterland connections; Support of containerisation and of unaccompanied transport.
The Commission strongly supports Short Sea Shipping as an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient way to transport goods and passengers. Motorways of the Sea, based upon Short Sea Shipping, are a key initiative to address ever increasing transport by trucks on the EU's ever more congested motorways. It is a cheaper alternative to building new or extending existing motorways. It also helps improve the accessibility of remote regions of Europe and connect the EU with its neighbours.
Furthermore, Vice-President Günter Verheugen will meet on 11.09.2009 in Bremerhaven (Germany) some high-level representatives from Member States and industry to discuss strategic shipbuilding matters. These coming discussions will take into consideration and further develop the industrial aspects of the meeting.