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The European maritime transport policy with respect to sustainable development issues and climate commitments

The European maritime transport policy with respect to sustainable development issues and climate commitments

Type of text : Opinion
Type of referral : Own initiative
Working group : Section for European and International Affairs

Rapporteur(s) :

Jacques BEALL
Environment and Nature Group
Date adopted : 12/04/2017 | Period : 2015-2020
In the European Union (EU), maritime transport, despite taking a relatively small proportion of gross domestic product (GDP, 145 billion euros i.e. 1%), represents more than 640,000 direct jobs and 40% of global gross tonnage. It is also of strategic importance since 90% of goods are transported by sea worldwide, of which 70% in European waters.
 
The 2009/2018 European maritime transport strategy, presented by the European Commission in January 2009, aimed to make this sector “more competitive and sustainable” and was based on several foundations: sustainable development, economic growth, the opening of markets in a context of fair competition and high social and environmental standards. The review of this strategy, launched in summer 2016 and formalised by the publication of an interim report by the Commission, provided the opportunity to highlight contrasting results. For instance, real progress has been made on the legal level with the adoption of very advanced legislation in terms of safety or a legal framework designed to guarantee the living and working conditions of seafarers. However the corpus compiled by the EU is unevenly and insufficiently applied, creating major intra-community distortions. On the environmental level, although the original objective of the strategy - “zero-waste and zero-emission” - seemed unrealistic and much remains to be done, the EU is a pioneer
in environmental standards and remains a decisive stakeholder for global adoption of measures aimed at reducing the impact of the maritime sector on the climate.