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Parliamentary questions
30 January 2012
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Spyros Danellis (S&D)

 Subject: Measures relating to the cruise shipping sector

The shipwreck of the Costa Concordia cruise vessel has triggered alarm among passengers and would-be passengers, at the same time casting doubt on the adequacy of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)'s SOLAS convention on the Safety Of Life At Sea. The IMO has announced its intention of re-examining the safety of the new generation of cruise ships, and the maritime authorities of IMO member countries must also draw conclusions from this shipwreck. At the same time, however, analysts are warning that the cruise shipping sector, which in recent years has undergone continuous expansion and employs hundreds of thousands of people, may suffer a serious blow, not least now that we are in the middle of the booking season.

It is worth noting that 95 % of the world's cruise shipping fleet is built in European shipyards which, according to industry sources, obtain 99 % of their materials from European manufacturers. Thus, given the necessity of maintaining growth in this sector:

1. Does the Commission intend to include in the impending legislative framework for ports new provisions for the promotion of investment in port and coastal infrastructures?
2. Is any opportunity to be provided through the new ‘Connecting Europe’ fund for European co-financing of passenger infrastructures in EU ports?
3. How does it propose to facilitate the transition to affordable low-sulphur fuels so that the services offered by cruise vessels and coastal shipping do not suffer as a result of the imposition of stricter limits on sulphur emissions?
4. What action does it intend to take, following publication of its May 2011 report, to improve training for people in maritime employment and the attractiveness of jobs in the shipping sector?

Original language of question: ELOJ C 81 E, 20/03/2013
Last updated: 2 February 2012Legal notice