What do we want to achieve ?
For Europe, maritime transport has been a catalyst for economic development and prosperity throughout its history. Maritime Transport enables trade and contacts between all European nations. It ensures the security of supply of energy, food and commodities and provides the main vehicle for European imports and exports to the rest of the world. Almost 90% of the EU’s external freight trade is seaborne. Short sea shipping represents one third of intra-EU exchanges in terms of ton-kilometers. Ensuring a good quality of life on Europe’s islands and in peripheral maritime regions depends on good maritime transport services. Each year, more than 400 million passengers embark and disembark at European ports. Overall, maritime industries are an important source of employment and income for the European economy.
The European Commission's objective is to protect Europe with very strict safety rules preventing sub-standard shipping, reducing the risk of serious maritime accidents and minimising the environmental impact of maritime transport. It also safeguards access to the maritime transport market and promotes reduction of administrative burden through digitalisation. The Commission also works actively against piracy and terrorism threats. Another important activity concerns the social dimension: looking after working conditions, health and safety issues and regulating the professional qualifications of seafarers. Finally, the Commission works for the protection of citizens as users of maritime transport services, ensuring safe and secure conditions, looking after their rights as passengers and examining the quality of public service connections proposed by Member States.
The Commission's strategic goals and recommendations for the EU had been set out in 2009 in the Maritime Transport Policy until 2018. An implementation report was published in September 2016, presenting main developments and achievement as identifying areas for further work. Action in the area of maritime transport aims at ensuring the long-term performance of the European maritime transport system as a whole to the benefit of all other economic sectors and to the final consumer. The Commission actively supports the efforts of EU Member States and of the European shipping sector offering quality shipping services in Europe and all over the world.
Commission welcomes provisional agreement on tackling ship-source pollution to help make European seas cleaner
The Commission welcomes the political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the amendment of Directive 2005/35/EC on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for pollution offences.
The Commission and the Canadian Department of Transport signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that will improveinternational cooperation on maritime safety.
Maritime transport emissions: Commission welcomes new IMO climate ambition for 2030, 2040 and 2050 and calls to set transition in motion
The Commission welcomes the agreement reached today at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to revise its 2018 strategy on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships.
The Commission presented five legislative proposals to modernise EU rules on maritime safety and prevent water pollution from ships.
The Commission is taking another important step today towards the implementation of the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe) with the publication of a Delegated Regulation and an Implementing Regulation.
The Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the IMO to step up protection of the Mediterranean, with a considerable tightening of the rules on exhaust gases from ships.