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Mobility and Transport

Short sea shipping

The EU has a strategic interest in ensuring the continuous performance of Short sea shipping. As by 2050 short sea shipping has a strong role in reaching the EU transport goal of reducing 60% of greenhouse gas emission generated by transport and by 2030 the shift of 30% of road freight over 300 km to other modes.

A key challenge of the EU is to maintain the sector’s dynamism and competitiveness whilst at the same time improving its environmental performance and energy efficiency.

Today, still a significant number of obstacles hampering the further harmonious development of the European shipping industry need to be addressed.

The main priority areas where the European Commission is taking action for enhancing the further development of Short Sea Shipping are threefold:

  • Administrative simplification.
  • Support industry in picking up new technologies for complying with new and stricter environmental legislation.
  • Integration of short sea shipping in full logistics chains.

With a view to promoting Short Sea Shipping, Shortsea Promotion Centres (SPC) have been established in nearly all coastal EU Member States. The Commission encourages the coordination of the SPCs at European level, within a European Shortsea Network (ESN).


Related documents


Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social committee and the Committee of the Regions on Short Sea Shipping [COM(2004)453]

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