Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
1. The promotion of investment in port and coastal infrastructures for maritime transport is addressed in the Commission's TEN‑T guidelines proposal of 19 October 2011(1) supporting , where appropriate, adequate infrastructures for passengers within the port area.
2. The Connecting Europe Facility(2) will support projects of common interest pursuing the objectives set out in the TEN‑T guidelines. Projects related to passenger infrastructures in EU ports would be eligible for Union financial aid provided that those projects fulfil the conditions established in Article 7 of the Union guidelines for the TEN‑T development referred to above.
3. The proposal reducing the sulphur content of marine fuels aims, amongst others, at aligning the EU legislation to agreed international standards. For more details, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the answer to Question E‑010162/2011(3).
4. The independent Task Force report on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness published in July 2011(4) includes a set of recommendations addressed to the Commission, national administrations and social partners. The Commission plans to consult Member States and stakeholders on its follow-up before the summer 2012 with a view to prioritising the initiatives recommended by the Task Force.
As for the regulatory actions recommended by the Task Force, the Commission adopted in September 2011 a proposal for a directive amending the directive on training and certification of seafarers (2008/106/EC(5)) in order to bring it in line with the 2010 Amendments to the STCW Convention(6), while a proposal for enforcing Directive 2009/13/EC(7) (integrating part of the Maritime Labour Convention into EC law) is expected to be submitted to Parliament and Council during the spring 2012.
Council Directive 2009/13/EC of 16 February 2009 implementing the Agreement concluded by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, and amending Directive 1999/63/EC , OJ L 124 , 20.5.2009, p.30.