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Danish Shipping welcomes new EU Port Strategy

The European Parliament has adopted a so-called own-initiative report where they call on the Commission for an EU Port Strategy that acknowledges the crucial role of ports in the green transition of the maritime industry and eliminates the harsh protectionist measures included in the first draft.

Initially, the first Committee draft of the EU Port Strategy proposed protectionist measures, which, if implemented, would have led to limited opportunities for the EU to foster global trade partnerships. 


Therefore, Danish Shipping is very satisfied that the European Parliament members have altered the own initiative report, shifting focus from initial protectionist measures to emphasizing the vital role of European ports. 


MEP Bergur Løkke Rasmussen has played a significant role in steering the strategy-paper away from the potential negative impacts of protectionism. 


“The EU should be careful not to lean towards protectionist measures. When EU advocates for regional policies, it may provoke retaliatory actions from other countries than China such as countries in ASEAN, Oceania, South America, and other regions too,” said Bergur Løkke Rasmussen, MEP Renew Europe Group.  

The EU should be careful not to lean towards protectionist measures
MEP Bergur Løkke Rasmussen, Renew Europe Group.

The first strategy proposal would have called for an end to free competition by restricting non-EU shipping companies from moving goods within the EU. This could potentially lead to similar initiatives in other parts of the world and thus ultimately harm the European shipping companies, which operate and compete globally. 


“The European Union should embrace trade from every corner of the globe and refrain from impeding it. Our shipping companies heavily depend on unrestricted access to ports worldwide and the principles of free trade. Consequently, I am delighted that the detrimental protectionist measures initially proposed in the first strategy draft have been eliminated,” said Jacob K. Clasen, Deputy CEO Danish Shipping.   


The new proposal also acknowledges the crucial role of ports in the green transition of the maritime industry, with a specific focus on infrastructure for alternative fuels and facilities for handling and transporting CO2 (Carbon Capture and Storage). 


Bergur Løkke Rasmussen managed to include the proposal of a European Port Atlas to support the green transition. Also, the proposal mentions the need for increased security in the ports when it comes to combating illegal drugs and organised crime.  With the legislative initiative, the Parliament urges the Commission to present a European ports strategy by the end of 2024.