Value Chains and Projects of European Common Interest
The announcements of the President of the Commission, Mrs Von der Leyen about the Green Deal are already a matter of active thinking within many industries and corporations who fully subscribe to the objectives.
An important step for the EU will also be to identify Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and value chains of strategic importance to Europe.
Moving for instance from an approach which tends to give priority to individual sectors to one which privileges industries which collaborate, create jobs and value beyond their own “segment” will be essential.
The recent European Commission’s decision to prohibit Siemens’ proposed acquisition of Alstom has triggered a new phase in Europe’s ongoing debate on industrial policy.
There is also a rising worry that other third countries are not playing by the same rules and that Europe’s openness is being used against its own strategic interests.
Finally, there is a realisation that the EU may not have done enough to prepare for digitalisation and decarbonisation, and did not make strategic investments in key areas of R&D.
The EU innovation policy framework has for too long lacked instruments to support disruptive or breakthrough innovation, aimed at creating new markets.
The European Innovation Council may provide “air to fill” market gaps but it will need to scale up as the competition from Asia is fierce and intensifying.
More importantly where R&D funding results will lead to successful innovations, it will be essential to ensure that they will be industrially deployed by EU industries.
Thus, the importance of a more holistic cluster approach regarding R&D which acknowledges the interlinkages between the different stages from research to innovation, and from incubator to corporations.
Multimodal transport projects which connect different modes of transport and allow value creation should be considered as IPCEIs to receive significant support.
Platforms such as the Waterborne Technology Platform which aim at identifying the strategic research and innovation agenda for the EU waterborne sector with respect to decarbonization and digitalization should also be strongly supported.
05.09.2019 - Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security – Brussels
FEPORT joined the 56th Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security (SAGMaS), which took place on the 5th of September.
The Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security was created by the European Commission to advice the European Commission on all questions related to Maritime, Port facilities and Ports and Ship Security. The Group meets regularly in Brussels and in the EMSA offices in Lisbon.
During the meeting, piracy was one of the subjects of discussion and the participants were informed about the latest trends and incidents worldwide. Another important topic was cybersecurity and the outcome of the workshop on cybersecurity in the Maritime Sector that was held on September 4th, 2019.
09.09.2019 - IMO Seminar – London
On September 9th, 2019, FEPORT SG was invited to participate to a joint IMO/Hutchison Ports seminar held at the International Maritime Organization headquarters as part of the London International Shipping Week.
The main topic of the seminar was “Do ports need international Regulation?”.
Participants were welcomed by Mr Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports and Mr Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the IMO.
“The IMO has had a huge impact on shipping, but why shouldn’t the positive benefits of the IMO’s work be felt further throughout supply chains?” said Mr Kitack Lim. “At the very least, the IMO should be a catalyst for dialogue and communication between all maritime stakeholders.”
IMO Director of legal and external affairs, Mr Frederick Kenney, who moderated the panel, noted that most of the IMO’s work is directed towards ships, i.e. maritime safety, protection of the maritime environment and safety of navigation.
Following the opening speeches, Professor David Attard, Director of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute, outlined the role of ports in maritime law and highlighted the importance of enforcing regulations, including through implementation into national law, and the need for capacity building and training.
There was a large consensus among most of the panellists: Ms. Sakura Kuma, Yokohama and Kawasaki International Port (YKIP); and Ms. Diana Whitney, Hutchison Ports, Mr. Patrick Verhoeven, International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH); Mr. Guy Platten, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) as well as Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid that the key question is not whether IMO could regulate ports, but whether it should.
FEPORT SG reminded how discussions about ports regulation at the European level have proven to be complex, given the diversity that exists between ports.
“The port industry is a regulated industry, but a lot of it is at local and national level. The playing field for ports is more regional than global, as ports are embedded in local communities.” said Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid.
“When it comes to port efficiency, it is important to remember that it is driven by market and competition. Too much regulation may have the opposite effect and lead to inefficient ports.” continued FEPORT SG.
“I think that, instead of regulating, the IMO should support capacity buiding and dissemination of good practices, and offer to the port indsutry the opportunity to discuss shipping regulations that impact ports” added FEPORT SG.
“What will be also important if port stakeholders get more involved in discussions at IMO is that enhanced communication and cooperation also prevail betwen shipping and port administrrations at national levels” concluded Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj Belkaid.
11.09.2019 - Port of Rotterdam & Port of Antwerp Event – Brussels
On September 11th, FEPORT attended an event, organised by Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Antwerp about “The added value of ports in Europe”. Prof Bart Kuipers (Erasmus University) gave insights about the added value of ports while Mr Henrik Hololei, Director General of DG MOVE gave a key note speech explaining how the Commission sees the role of ports.
The event was an opportunity for the representatives of the Ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam, Mr Christian Holzleitner, Jacques Vandermeiren (CEO Antwerp Port Authority) and Ronald Paul (COO Port of Rotterdam Authority) to communicate to MEPs and representatives of the Commission their main expectations for the coming years.
Decarbonisation, the energy transition and digitalization were among the subjects that have been discussed by panelists. The Ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam commented on these major developments and stressed the need for the EU to support infrastructure investments that are needed to implement the Energy Transition.
18.09.2019 - Digital Transport and Logistics – Brussels
On September 18th, FEPORT participated to the meeting of Sub-group 2 (Corridor Freight Information Systems) of the DTLF (Digital Transport and Logistics Forum).
The DTLF is a forum established by the European Commission that brings together stakeholders from different transport and logistics communities, from both the private and the public sector, with a view to build a common vision and road map for digital transport and logistics.
During the meeting, the participants were updated by DG MOVE on the progresses made by the sub-group and on the federated platform building blocks.
20.09.2019 - New ITF report on “Maritime subsidies”: FEPORT calls for more transparency and a review of the Maritime State Aid Guidelines to achieve it
FEPORT, who represents the private port companies and terminals performing cargo handling activities in EU ports, welcomes the publication of the ITF OECD report on “Maritime subsidies” as it sheds light on a number of taxation practices which are not included in the last version of the Maritime State Aid Guidelines (2011).
According to the ITF Report, some taxation practices which have been cleared by DG Competition through individual decisions have not been incorporated in the General framework, i.e. Maritime State Aid Guidelines.
Not less than 10 (ten) decisions (pag. 54) have modified the scope of eligibility of the tonnage tax to include loading/unloading or cargo handling services offered by shipping lines as ancillary services to maritime transport.
Private port companies and terminals performing cargo handling activities in EU ports do not benefit from any tax exemptions. They are therefore very concerned to discover that, since 1996, the scope of eligibility to the tonnage tax has been modified at the expense of terminal operators.
“Cargo handling operations are not ancillary services, but activities performed by economic undertakings paying taxes in the EU and employing more than 390.000 port workers” commented FEPORT president, Mr Gunther Bonz.
“FEPORT calls for a review of the Maritime State Aid Guidelines to have the opportunity to comment on the taxation practices that have been authorized through individual decisions without a thorough assessment of the impact on independent cargo handling operators” added Mr Bonz.
“For the sake of transparency, equality of treatment and level playing field, it is essential to include maritime transport in the fitness check exercise that concerns a whole range of industries. Public consultations remain the best way to clarify the rules and guarantee an equality of treatment of all industries” continued Mr Bonz.
“The review of the Consortia BER has been a good example on how a sectoral instrument can impact well beyond the beneficiary industry. Once again, we realize that individual decisions on tonnage tax schemes are granting a competitive advantage to some shipping lines offering cargo handling services at the expense of independent terminals. It is crucial that this changes quickly as it is a significant source of distortion of competition” concluded FEPORT President.
FEPORT will carefully analyse the content of the report and share in the coming weeks its concerns and proposals with relevant institutional stakeholders.
24.09.2019 - Lunch dicussion between Commissioner Bulc and maritime community stakeholders – Brussels
As we are getting close to the end of her mandate, Commissioner Bulc wished to meet and thank the representatives of the maritime community for the coopration during the last five years.
The exchange was open and constructive and allowed the different industry representatives to thank Commissioner Bulc for her time, engagement and dedication to achieve real progess on a number of key files for the maritime community.
Warm thanks again from FEPORT members to Commissioner Bulc and may the best winds guide you for the next steps.
25.09.2019 - European Logistics Platform Event – Brussels
On September 25th, the European Logistics Platform (ELP) organised an event “Logistics in Transition: how to handle growing freight transport and the challenges ahead”.
FEPORT Secretary General, Mrs. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, moderated the panel discussion that involved representatives from the industry, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Professor Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics at the Kühne Logistics University presented the mega-trends affecting logistics and alerted participants about the lack of progress in cutting CO2 emissions and the real urgency to speed up decarbonization efforts in the logistics sector.
Speakers from industry, included Mr. Leigh Pomlett Executive Director of CEVA, Mr. Bart Vandewaetere Corporate Communications and Government Relations for Nestlé and Mr. Helder Velho, Director for EU Transportation Services at Amazon, were asked by Mrs. Kerdjoudj-Belkaid about the way their respective companies are dealing with sustainability and skills shortage and what are their expectations from institutional stakeholders regarding investment in infrastructure, digitalization and trade barriers as well as the impact of Brexit.
Mr. Edoardo Turano, Deputy Head of the Road Transport Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Climate Action (DG CLIMA), reminded delegates that the EU’s ambition is to reduce transport emissions by 60% by 2050 compared to 1990, and declared that emphasizing collaboration between governments and the private sector is essential to achieve this target.
He also evoked the long-term EU emissions reduction strategy, with low-emission mobility at heart. He then insisted on the need to accelerate decarbonization of transport to meet climate objectives but also increase Europe’s competitiveness and use this challenge to invest in the future and innovate.
Mr. Sandro Santamato, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, in charge of Maritime Transport and Logistics, explained how digitalization and automation could create a shift in skills required and increase the attractiveness of the sector.
The shift towards multimodality as well as digitalization and the integration of environmental and climate objectives in the future EU research and innovation agenda will remain among the EU Commission’s priorities according to Mr Santamato.
Responding to what was expressed by industry representatives, MEP Liberadzki reminded the audience on the need to invest in order to meet decarbonization targets. He also insisted on the necessity to ensure that EU rules support industry competitiveness and not stifle it.
MEP Vera Tax welcomed the fact that industry supports the need to decarbonize and called for more input regarding ways of achieving the EU targets and what would be needed in terms of investment and R&D. She also mentioned the need for the European Commission to support gender balance in logistics.
Source: FEPORT and ELP
26.09.2019 - 3rd Combined Transport Digital Forum – Brussels
On September 26, FEPORT participated to the 3rd Combined Transport Digital Forum organized by the International Union for Rail-Road Combined Transport (UIRR).
During the meeting, UIRR Technical Director, Mr. Eric Feyen, presented the UIRR Digital Programme while Carlo De Grandis, Policy Officer from DG MOVE, explained the EU Rail Digital Initiative of the European Commission.
Discussions focused on the roadmap to reach an effective digital transformation of combined transport. The participants had the opportunity to debate and brainstorm on a number of subjects such as business intelligence, asset management, governance models, collaborative platforms.
26.09.2019 - Conference “Towards a more inclusive and diverse transport sector” – Brussels
On September 26, FEPORT attended the Conference “Towards a more inclusive and diverse transport sector”, where Commissioner Violeta Bulc launched a network of diversity ambassadors for the transport sector.
During the conference, the audience had the opportunity to exchange with Commissioner Bulc, to network and to reflect on the role of ambassadors as well as on the best ways to liaise and cooperate.
The attendees were called to take action and become an ambassador to promote the importance of having a diversified workforce.
30.09.2019 - ITF Maritime Logistics Dialogue – OECD Paris
On September 30th, 2019, FEPORT SG Participated to an ITF workshop on maritime logistics performance indicators.
A few months ago, the Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue which brings together stakeholders from the maritime logistics chain has started to work on performance indicators for the maritime logistics chain.
Most of the performance indicators that exist focus on part of the maritime logistics chain, i.e. on liner shipping connectivity, schedule reliability and terminal productivity.
Although important, these indicators seen in isolation are only helpful to a limited extent, as they generally do not result in honest exchanges between stakeholders on where collaboration could help to improve maritime logistics chains. In this respect, the only holistic performance indicator that is widely used is the World Bank Logistics Indicator, but it covers logistics as a whole rather than maritime logistics and cannot be used as a sufficiently precise indicator for the efficiency of maritime logistics.
During the ITF Summit in Leipzig, discussions within the Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue were preceded by presentations from representatives of Hapag Lloyd, PSA and the Port of Los Angeles who explained the current initiatives they have implemented to improve efficiency and communication between the different actors of the maritime logistics chain.
The workshop in Paris gathered the main representatives of the maritime logistics chain who resumed their discussions about performance indicators, sources and data and metrics that can improve transparency, allow a good identification of the bottlenecks and facilitate the implementation of corrective measures.
Events supported by FEPORT
Inland shipping is moving towards its sustainability goals. The European Inland Waterways Transport Platform together with their partners and the EC funded European Inland Barging Innovation Platform (EIBIP) are organising this event to raise awareness about innovative and sustainable IWT.
The event will bring together ETA members to discuss smart business. The scope will be to look into what the thriving business models for the future will be. The panellists will take a look at other business models in parallel sectors that have proven to be successful, in order to learn lessons from these scenarios.
Shippers, carriers, ports and terminals, inland operators, regulators, researchers, educators, NGOs, equipment, technology, service providers and all those concerned with the safety, security and sustainability of cargo operations on land and at sea are invited to join ICHCA in the Mediterranean hub port of Malta this 11-14 November to help shape the future.
On 29 November 2019, the Waterborne Technology Platform, FEPORT, SEA Europe, CLECAT, ECSA, IWT Platform and ALICE will jointly organize a conference regarding waterborne transport. The conference aims to bring together the European waterborne transport sector, members of European Parliament and the European Commission to discuss the importance of research and innovation for the waterborne transport sector to be able to contribute to societal challenges, and on the other hand to ensure that the waterborne transport sector remains competitive in a global level playing field.
The conference will be organized along the following main themes:
- The transformation to zero-emission waterborne transport and port operations;
- Connected and automated waterborne transport and all its elements;
- Port operations in 2050 and integrating maritime and hinterland logistics.
During the conference, the Waterborne Technology Platform will launch its technological research agenda, which follows the missions and visions as presented in January 2019. In addition, a strategic cooperation between Waterborne and ALICE will be concluded during the conference. It is organized back-to-back with FEPORT’s fifth annual stakeholders’ Conference.
The conference will start at 09:00 and finish ultimately 15:00 o’clock and will take place at the following location: Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, 1040 Brussels.
In order to register for the event, please sent an e-mail to
01.10.2019 Environment, Safety & Security Committee – Brussels
02.10.2019 Social Affairs Committee – Brussels
24.10.2019 Port Policy Committee - Brussels
06.11.2019 Customs & Logistics Committee - Brussels
14.11.2019 Board of Directors - Brussels
27.11.2019 General Assembly - Brussels
28.11.2019 Fifth Annual Stakeholders Conference – Brussels
30.09-01.10.2019 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
02-03.10.2019 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
02-03.10.2019 EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels
07-08.10.2019 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
07-08.10.2019 EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels
14.10.2019 EMPL Committee Meeting – Brussels
02.12.2019 EU Transport Council – Brussels
Hearings of the Commissioners-designated
Week 40 – Brussels - rooms JAN 2Q2 and 4Q2
Week 41 – Brussels - rooms JAN 2Q2 and 4Q2
Hearings for the Commissioners-delegates for Transport and Neighbourhood and Enlargement to be soon scheduled.
07-09.10.2019 Digital Transport Days – Helsinki
08.10.2019 TIC 4.0 Plenary Meeting – Marseille
09-10.10.2019 PEMA AGM – Marseille
16.10.2019 Green Inland Shipping – Brussels
16-17.10.2019 BILOG Forum – Brussels
18.10.2019 Social Dialogue for Ports Meeting – Brussels
23.10.2019 EFIP Anniversary – Strasbourg
24.10.2019 TCG – Brussels
07.11.2019 ETA Conference – Brussels
12-15.11.2019 ICHCA Conference - Malta
14.11.2019 EuDA Conference – Brussels
19-20.11.2019 ENMC Meeting – Rome