Procedure : 2008/2007(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0308/2008

Texts tabled :

A6-0308/2008

Debates :

PV 03/09/2008 - 19
CRE 03/09/2008 - 19

Votes :

PV 04/09/2008 - 7.7
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2008)0408

REPORT     
PDF 150kWORD 131k
14.7.2008
PE 404.591v02-00 A6-0308/2008

on a European ports policy

(2008/2007(INI))

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Rapporteur: Josu Ortuondo Larrea

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on a European ports policy

(2008/2007(INI))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission communication on a European ports policy (COM(2007)0616),

–       having regard to the Commission communication 'Towards a future maritime policy for the Union: a European vision for the oceans and seas' (COM(2006)0275),

–       having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on a future maritime policy for the European Union: a European vision for the oceans and seas(1)

–       having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2008 on sustainable European transport policy, taking into account European energy and environment policies(2),

–       having regard to Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds(3),

–       having regard to Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora(4),

–       having regard to Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste(5),

–       having regard to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy(6),

       having regard to Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty,

–       having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0308/2008),

A.     whereas market access to port services has been a subject of debate within Parliament, prompting the Commission to undertake an extensive consultation of stakeholders,

B.     whereas the abovementioned Commission communication on a European ports policy proposes no new measures on market access to port services,

C.     whereas a European ports policy at Community level, exploiting their comparative geopolitical advantages, is appropriate for this sector because of its international dimension,

D.     whereas ports are important not only for maritime, river and modal transport in Europe, but also as economic axes, sources of employment and a force for population integration,

E.     whereas, in view of its objectives of boosting the competitiveness of maritime transport and providing high-quality modern services, European ports policy should promote the following four principles: safety - swift service - low cost - respect for the environment,

F.     whereas there are a number of challenges facing European ports in the future, particularly in the areas of the environment, globalisation, sustainable development, employment and social conditions, in particular as regards safety and lifelong learning, finance, market access and administration, as well as anti-competitive and discriminatory measures taken by non-EU countries in relevant geographical markets,

G.     whereas the lack of potential areas for port development in Europe, together with the rarity and fragility of natural habitats, highlights how important it is for the legislator to ensure balance and legal clarity when it comes to environmental, economic and social obligations,

H.     whereas great diversity exists in the European ports sector and substantial growth is expected in future years,

I.      whereas the widening of the Panama Canal will have an impact, which will probably accentuate the current trend towards larger vessels,

J.      whereas modern infrastructure and effective hinterland and island connections are important to ports,

1. Welcomes the abovementioned Commission communication on a European ports policy;

2. Commends the Commission on the approach it took when drawing up the communication, particularly the extensive process of consultation;

3.      Welcomes the Commission’s focus on soft law measures such as publishing guidelines and removing administrative obstacles;

4.      Points to the crucial importance of the ports sector to the European Union from the economic, commercial, social, environmental and strategic points of view;

5.      Believes that the Commission’s role is important in order to ensure that all European ports are able to reach their full potential;

6.      Welcomes the Commission’s intention to publish guidelines on the application of Community environmental legislation to port development and their infrastructure, the main objective being to protect the marine environment and the areas surrounding the ports; urges the Commission to publish these guidelines before the end of 2008;

7.      Considers it possible for ports and nature to coexist in a sustainable manner, as the destruction of nature often causes economic damage to other sectors, such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries, and therefore calls on the Transport Commissioner to work closely with the Environment Commissioner in drawing up and enforcing European ports and environmental legislation and guidelines;

8.      Believes that the aim of these guidelines should be to tackle the legal uncertainty deriving from certain environmental directives and thereby genuinely address environment policy, while taking account of the specific situation of ports in the Union;

9.      Underlines the need to involve port and local authorities in drawing up plans to manage the water quality of river basins and maritime ports in accordance with Directive 2000/60/EC;

10.    draws attention to the need for regional authorities to support the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from ships and from land and air transport by laying down air quality management plans and conforming to the Marpol Convention and to Directive 96/62/EC of the Council of 27 September 1996 on ambient air quality assessment and management(7);

11.    Stresses the need to develop an integrated European policy to boost regional competitiveness and territorial cohesion, taking account of social, environmental, economic and security aspects at all territorial levels, by organising interinstitutional, intersectoral and multi-territory partnerships;

12.    Notes that the Commission is concerned about the distribution of traffic flows in Europe, and points to the diversity of the ports sector and the increase in small and medium-sized ports in Europe; considers also that the Commission should take account of the major changes expected in international maritime traffic as a result of technological and economic progress, the widening of the Panama Canal and the increase in the size and capacity of vessels, which will undoubtedly have a substantial impact on the sector;

13.    Highlights the territorial dimension of the development of European ports, particularly the need for cross-border cooperation and coordination between neighbouring port regions; stresses the importance of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the regional strategy for the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Seas; welcomes the Commission’s proposal for drawing up a list of bottlenecks between EU ports and ports of the EU's neighbouring states;

14.    Calls on the Commission systematically to monitor the development of new technologies and management methods used internationally at ports and ship service, freight, passenger and land transport terminals with the aim of promoting policies and initiatives to develop Community ports and enhance their efficiency and productivity for the benefit of themselves and users;

15.    Considers that the technological changes needed to enable intermediate ports to meet the challenges of an increased volume of traffic will have major financial implications for the regions concerned; considers that these regions should be entitled to draw on the structural funds to that end, particularly to finance the acquisition of advanced technological installations, to create jobs in innovative fields and to rehabilitate urban areas freed up by the transfer of port business to out-of-town areas;

16.    Considers that the legal certainty of the Community legal framework in the maritime field, flowing from the international legal framework, depends on the speedy approval of the Erika III maritime package,

17.    Calls on the Commission and Member States to promote cooperation between European ports; stresses in this connection the role which ports play in the regional economy of their hinterland; in this regard, underlines that the harmonious development of ports is a key element of the EU’s integrated maritime policy;

18.    Stresses the social and cultural role of ports for the population of the hinterland and considers it essential to improve public awareness of the importance of ports as means of development;

19.    Considers that maritime and river transport cannot be considered in isolation from land and air transport and that links to a port’s hinterland are of great importance to its commercial success, and it is therefore necessary to establish interconnections between ports, inland logistics platforms and ‘dry ports’; with this in mind, also believes that the co-modal participation of ports is needed in relation to both the trans-European transport networks (TEN-Ts) and the future Community green corridors to ensure better exploitation of transport capacities in the area of cabotage and river transport, and also as regards connections with land and air transport, so as to ensure a coherent and genuine transport policy;

20.    supports the intention of the Commission, therefore, to evaluate ports’ hinterland connections status and needs and their impact on a balanced network of traffic flows on the occasion of the mid-term review of the TEN-T in 2010(8);

21.    Considers that one of the aims of the mid-term review of the TEN-T in 2010 should be to integrate maritime and river transport with land transport via European ports;

22.    Calls on the regional authorities concerned to implement a more multimodal transport policy to ensure that, in addition to motorways, more traffic goes by rail and internal waterways, to connect port areas effectively with the TEN-Ts and to give ports more effective hinterland connections, in particular through the use of railways and inland waterways;

23.    Notes that EU ports are in competition with third country ports which are often not subject to the same rules, and also face discriminatory economic policies implemented by EU neighbouring countries, for example via discriminatory tariff policies;

24.    Calls on the Commission to study port safety issues anew and to factor in the increased cost with regard to the competitiveness of European ports;

25.    Welcomes the Commission’s intention to conduct a survey of the problems encountered by European ports in this area and calls on the Commission to consider compiling a log of these problems, so as specifically to tackle problems generated by competition with non-EU ports and anti-competitive and discriminatory measures taken by EU neighbouring countries;

26.    Stresses the need to develop cooperation with third countries in order to prepare and submit programmes for the development, coordination and transfer of know-how among neighbouring ports;

27.    Considers that the Commission should examine the possibility of introducing a Community programme on the renewal of cargo vessels, particularly those intended for cabotage and river transport;

28.    Believes that new technologies, particularly information technologies, are key elements that will enable European ports, which are already facing competitive pressures from third country ports, but also in some cases suffering from a lack of space to expand, and to increase their efficiency and profitability;

29.    Urges the Commission and the Member States to hasten, through the appropriate bodies, the implementation of remote pilotage systems in order to increase efficiency and security in traffic management in ports as well as in roadstead areas;

30.    Urges the Commission to pursue research and innovation in this sector under the Union’s framework programmes and calls on the Commission and Member States to support research into safety issues, so as to keep accidents to a minimum, into logistics, so as to improve the use of space in ports, and into environmental questions, so as to curb CO2 emissions and pollution caused by waste;

31.    Calls on the Commission and Member States to support the proposals before the International Maritime Organisation to replace the current fuel with diesel by 2020, and the possibility of including the maritime sector in the emissions trading scheme;

32.    Calls on the Commission and Member States to support actively the continuous improvement of the "Search and Rescue" (SAR) fleet and other SAR functionalities in ports, under SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and SAR Conventions and to further improve cooperation between Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres;

33.    Considers there is a need for the further development of the «Clean ship» and «Clean port» programmes;

34.    Calls on the Commission and the sector to encourage shipping companies to reduce the number of empty containers transported and to make full use of this capacity and to support initiatives with this aim (e.g. via research programmes), taking account of the real and specific needs of clients as well as reducing the environmental impact;

35.    Warmly welcomes the Commission's intention to submit a legislative proposal on creating a barrier-free European maritime transport area and considers that the aim of this proposal should be to ensure fair competition between maritime transport and land transport in the Union;

36.    Recommends that Community-cleared goods should be exempt from customs controls in short-sea shipping in the Community and also advocates, as far as possible, the creation of separate port zones for intra-community and international traffic, together with simplification of internal transport, standardisation and identification of special containers;

37.    Calls on the Commission to review and improve policies to develop and support short sea shipping;

38.    Calls on the Commission to examine the possibility of introducing a single transport document for containers in the Community so as to streamline administrative procedures;

39.    Calls on the Commission to undertake a study of the funds provided by public authorities to European commercial ports so as to identify possible distortions of competition and to clarify in the State aid guidelines which types of aid given to port authorities should be seen as State aid; believes that possible investments by public authorities to develop ports must not be seen as State aid where they are directly intended for environmental improvements or decongestion and reducing the use of roads for freight transport, particularly when it is considered to be essential to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion (e.g. in relation to islands), unless it would benefit a single user or operator;

40.    Urges the Commission to publish guidelines for State aid to ports in 2008, and believes that these guidelines should cover the port area as such, with a distinction made between access and defence infrastructure, project-related infrastructure and superstructure and with no distinction made between different categories of ports;

41.    Approves the extension of the transparency requirements laid down by Commission Directive 2006/111 of 16 November 2006 on the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings as well as on financial transparency within certain undertakings(9), but calls on the Commission to consider a reduced minimum threshold for annual revenue rather than an absolute obligation;

42.    Takes note, in particular, of the Commission’s analysis of port concessions and calls on it to bear in mind the importance of some flexibility for port authorities in this area, particularly as regards the renewal of concessions linked to major investments, but believes that this flexibility should not be used to prevent competition within ports;

43.    Believes that it is of the utmost importance to maintain a balance between the freedom to provide services and the specific requirements of ports, while stressing the need for cooperation between the public and private sector in order to modernise ports;

44.    Encourages the use of European territorial cooperation programmes under the cohesion policy and cooperation programmes under the EU neighbourhood and enlargement policy, but also the urges the Commission, the Member States and the regional authorities concerned to employ a trans-border approach as far as possible to the use of existing capacities when co-financing port infrastructure;

45.    Strongly supports the role of locally owned, non-for-profit trust ports, and urges local, regional, national and European authorities to take steps to protect them from disrepair, as their social, recreational and touristic benefit for the surrounding communities goes beyond their original economic function;

46.    Emphasises most strongly that any debate on Europe and its maritime policy, if it is to succeed, must include the major role played by the European recreational craft sector in terms of local economic development, since marinas are not only a showcase for their hinterland, and a powerful tool for promoting the exploitation of the port and its environs, but also an essential supply service for local businesses;

47.    Welcomes the emphasis placed on dialogue in the port sector; urges that a European social dialogue committee be set up and considers that it should deal with subjects related to ports, including workers' rights, concessions and the 1979 International Labour Organisation Convention No 152 on occupational safety and health (dock work);

48.    Stresses the importance of protecting and securing the highest possible level of training for port workers; supports the Commission’s desire to provide port workers with a mutually recognisable basic qualification so as to foster flexibility in the sector; hereto and, as a first step, a comparison should be made between the different existing systems of professional qualifications for port workers; considers, however, that this basic qualification must not have the effect of lowering the average level of qualification of port workers in a Member State;

49.    Proposes that the topic of professional qualifications and lifelong training be addressed together with the social partners within the future European social dialogue committee;

50.    Urges the Commission to promote the exchange of good practice in the port sector in general and with regard to innovation and the training of workers in particular in order to improve the quality of services, competitiveness and the attraction of investment;

51.    Welcomes the introduction of the European maritime day, on 20 May, and in particular supports the introduction of an ‘open day’ which could help the public gain a better understanding of the work and importance of the port sector;

52.    Urges the Commission, in line with the Parliament resolution of 8 May 2008 on the Transatlantic Economic Council(10) to continue its efforts to ensure that the US regulation to scan 100% of US-bound cargo is changed to ensure cooperation based on the mutual recognition of ‘authorised economic operators’ and of security standards agreed by the World Customs Organisation (C-TPAT, SAFE) framework; calls on the Commission to evaluate the potential costs of the measure regarding the 100% scanning of US-bound maritime cargo containers to business and to the EU economy, as well as its potential impact on customs operations;

53.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0343.

(2)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0087.

(3)

OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p.1.

(4)

OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

(5)

OJ L 182, 16.7.1999, p. 1.

(6)

OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

(7)

OJ L 296, 21.11.1996, p. 55.

(8)

Cf. Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 680/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of the trans-European transport and energy networks (OJ L 162, 22.6.2007, p. 1).

(9)

OJ L 318, 17.11.2006, p. 17.

(10)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0192.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background

The present communication is the result of a wide-ranging consultation on European port policy carried out by the Commission. The consultation followed on from the unsuccessful submission of two directives in this area. The communication is part of the European Union's agenda for freight transport, which also includes communications on a logistics action plan, a priority rail freight network and the motorways of the sea.

The importance of ports in Europe can be seen from the intensity of the debates surrounding the two directives recently rejected by the European Parliament. This importance is linked not only to economic factors, but also to the role of ports in society. The wide-ranging consultation process carried out by the Commission when preparing this communication is evidence of the new approach it is adopting and the interest it is taking in this sector.

The port sector is expanding rapidly. Maritime transport is crucial to European and world trade. It is a sector particularly affected by globalisation and the international dimension that brings. In fact, some concessions in European ports are run by companies, or even port authorities, from third countries. Similarly, some European ports are managed by authorities or companies from third countries

The Commission communication

The communication is divided into six main parts. The first part examines port performance and hinterland connections. In the face of growing world trade and the lack of space around most existing European ports, the best solution is to improve their performance. Hinterland connections are of vital importance for ports. While drawing up this report, your rapporteur had the opportunity to visit the port of Antwerp, something which convinced him of the value of overland connections. The Commission intends to leave this question to regional and national authorities and to the market. It plans to examine the matter as part of the mid-term review of the trans-European transport network in 2010.

The second part examines how capacity can be expanded while respecting the environment. The Commission points out that European ports are not always in the optimum location for development, something which is vital for the maritime sector. It acknowledges that legal uncertainty is felt in some quarters as regards legislation in this field, particularly the birds and habitats directives. In response, the Commission intends to publish guidelines on the application of Community environment legislation to the sector.

The question of the treatment of waste is dealt with at Community level by Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities. The Commission believes that the implementation of this directive is a target yet to be achieved. It will consult interested parties and put forward a proposal aimed at improving the existing mechanism of the directive. It will also contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on measures aimed at curbing pollutant emissions in ports.

In the section on modernisation, the Commission notes the improvement in ship-shore relations expected as a result of new technological systems such as SafeSeaNet, AIS (automatic identification) and LRIT (long-rage identification and tracking). In its own-initiative report on short-sea shipping (2004/2161(INI)), the European Parliament recommended that administrative formalities should be cut back without compromising safety and customs controls.

The Commission also wishes to cut red tape and simplify procedures for short-sea shipping. At present, maritime transport between Member States of the European Union is subject to customs inspection, since EU ports are part of the Union's external frontier. Maritime transport is therefore at a disadvantage compared to other transport modes, which are not subject to the same conditions within the Union. The Commission intends to publish a legislative proposal on the creation of a European maritime transport space without barriers in October 2008. The aim of the legislative proposal is to simplify administrative procedures and, where possible, grant exemption from these procedures to vessels transporting Community-cleared goods. The Commission has already proposed the creation of a paperless environment for customs and trade, including a single window for the submission of data.

The Commission also wishes to improve the administrative processing of vessels. In 2009 it intends to publish a policy document on the deployment of 'e- maritime services'. It hopes that technological progress in the information and communication sector will improve the efficiency of European ports. By 2009, the Commission intends to develop a series of generic indicators for all modes of transport. These will be practical tools to encourage analysis of service quality, but also to gauge the impact of the mode of transport concerned on the environment.

The fourth section of the communication examines port activities in Europe and the rules governing them. The aim is to create a level playing-field in Europe, unlike the current situation. Here again emphasis should be placed on the diversity of the port sector in Europe, a diversity which also extends to management of the sector by the Member States' authorities. In this connection, the Commission will also adopt guidelines on state aids to ports in October 2008.

With regard to the role of port authorities, the Commission takes stock of the diversity prevailing in this sector, explaining that European ports are managed either by entirely private entities or by public entities or enterprises. Nevertheless, the Commission does not intend to intervene to harmonise the different practices adopted by ports with regard to cargo handling and technical-nautical services. The Commission recalls the provisions of the Treaty and the conditions governing competition and the internal market, to which services of general economic interest are subject, as well as the rules on the internal market, particularly those relating to freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services.

With the aim of increasing transparency in the port sector, the Commission intends to extend the provisions on transparency laid down in Directive 2006/11/EC to all merchant ports without exception. At present, the directive applies only to ports whose annual income is above EUR 40 million per year.

The Commission emphasises that port concessions are subject to the rules and principles of the Treaty. In this connection, it mentions the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, under which concessions are subject to transparency and competition requirements when they are granted and award procedures may be checked for impartiality/neutrality. Competition in this area requires that the duration of concessions should be fixed so as not to restrict free competition. Nevertheless, a concessionaire should be able to pay off his investment and secure a reasonable return on it. The question of the renewal of concessions is an important one. Of course there is a need for competition, but port authorities would naturally like to renew an expired concession under a simplified administrative procedure.

In addition, the Commission wishes to help disseminate best practice as regards the transparency of port charges and take stock of problems encountered by European ports with third country ports. As mentioned above, ports in neighbouring countries are frequently not subject to the same rules and requirements as European ports, which can give them an advantage over the latter.

The fifth part of the communication deals with relations between ports and cities. The Commission points out that it has proposed holding a European maritime day. It also wants to propose an 'open day' to invite the public to explore ports and gain a better understanding of their role in society. The Commission will examine possible sources of finance for improving the integration of ports with the cities to which they are linked. It also plans to assess the impact of current safety measures and strike a balance between the need for such measures and the need to keep port areas accessible.

Finally, in the last part of the communication, the Commission examines work in ports. It plans to encourage the setting up of a European sectoral dialogue committee for ports. It will also draw up a mutually recognisable framework for the training of port workers. With regard to health and safety at work, the Commission points to the existing rules in this area and its previous communications on the subject. It will ensure that existing rules are monitored and that accident statistics are collected by Eurostat.

Rapporteur's Opinion - Key Points

Your rapporteur welcomes the Commission communication. The European Parliament's motion for a resolution highlights both the importance of this sector to Europe and its diversity.

With regard to the publication of guidelines for the implementation of Community environment legislation in this sector, the report underlines the importance of taking a common approach to the environment and port development. The specific nature of the port sector needs to be taken into account by the legislator when considering environment policy.

Hinterland connections are of considerable importance to ports and their development. A port in a good location cannot fulfil its potential unless it has good connections. In addition, maritime transport must be treated in the same way as other transport modes. Your rapporteur therefore calls on the Commission to ensure equal conditions for the sector in its proposal on maritime transport without barriers. Short-sea shipping in Europe should not be placed at a disadvantage and Community-cleared goods should not be subject to further customs inspection in Europe.

The report highlights the important role of new technologies in this sector. These technologies can help ports to overcome competitive pressures from third countries and the lack of space for expansion and thus enhance their efficiency and profitability. Competition with third country ports is a source of concern, since the latter are not subject to the same obligations and rules as those in the Union and may therefore enjoy an advantage as a result of less stringent provisions on state aids or the environment.


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (16.4.2008)

for the Committee on Transport and Tourism

on a European ports policy

(2008/2007(INI))

Draftsman: Pierre Pribetich

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Supports the Commission’s intention to assist European ports in their efforts to modernise while respecting the environment, through guidelines which provide incentives rather than attempting to impose harmonisation through regulations that would be difficult to implement in view of the very heterogeneous practices of European ports; hopes that such guidelines will result in greater legal certainty for ports, enabling them to make the necessary investments to cope with the expected rise in maritime transport; calls, therefore, on the Commission and Member States to promote cooperation between European ports; stresses in this connection the role which ports play in the regional economy of their hinterland; in this regard, underlines that the harmonious development of ports is a key element of the EU’s integrated maritime policy;

2.  Stresses the need to develop an integrated European policy to boost regional competitiveness and territorial cohesion, taking account of social, environmental, economic and security aspects at all territorial levels, by organising interinstitutional, intersectoral and multi-territory partnerships;

3.  Stresses the need for the Commission to assist stakeholders and cities towards a structured dialogue to improve the image of ports and lead to them being better integrated into the city and into urban life; in fact to ensure that port activities are sustainable; further notes that the presence of living and working areas side by side is good for the sustainability (less traffic) and quality of life of the cities and surrounding regions;

4.  Highlights the territorial dimension of the development of European ports, particularly the need for cross-border cooperation and coordination between neighbouring port regions; stresses the importance of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the regional strategy for the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Seas; welcomes the Commission’s proposal for drawing up a list of bottlenecks between EU ports and ports of the EU's neighbouring states;

5.  Recalls that the EU's main ports are generally well equipped and efficient but that there remain nevertheless considerable differences in terms of equipment and technology between the ports of the new and the old Member States;

6.  Considers that the technological changes needed to enable intermediate ports to meet the challenges of an increased volume of traffic will have major financial implications for the regions concerned; considers that these regions should be entitled to draw on the structural funds to that end, particularly to finance the acquisition of advanced technological installations, to create jobs in innovative fields and to rehabilitate urban areas freed up by the transfer of port business to out-of-town areas;

7.  At the same time, encourages the use of European territorial cooperation programmes under the cohesion policy and cooperation programmes under the EU neighbourhood and enlargement policy, but also the urges the Commission, the Member States and the regional authorities concerned to employ a trans-border approach as far as possible to the use of existing capacities when co-financing port infrastructure;

8.  Welcomes the Commission proposal to establish, at Community level, a series of common requirements as regards professional training for port workers with a view to enhancing their mobility by means of the mutual recognition of their qualifications and the harmonious development of ports;

9.   Calls on the regional authorities concerned to implement a more multimodal transport policy to ensure that, in addition to motorways, more traffic goes by rail and internal waterways, to connect port areas effectively with the trans-European transport networks and to give ports more effective hinterland connections, in particular through the use of railways and inland waterways; calls, furthermore, on the Commission to make use of the 2010 mid-term review to release more resources to enable greater use to be made of intermediate ports by unloading cargoes in one or more feedering steps so as to reduce congestion in the main ports and their environs and bring the cargo as close as possible to the recipients; stresses, therefore, that it would be useful to diversify unloading points with a view to significantly reducing road traffic and addressing a recurrent congestion problem in the environs of the port zone; calls at the same time, during the planning of port facilities, for an in-depth evaluation of whether these unloading points, which are smaller and closer to the recipient, are nevertheless capable of handling a larger number of unloadings, partly in the light of their infrastructure and road network, so that the problem is not simply shifted to other port areas;

10. Underlines the need to involve port and local authorities in drawing up plans to manage the water quality of river basins and maritime ports in accordance with Framework Directive 2006/60/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for a Community policy in the field of water(1); draws attention to the need for regional authorities to support the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from ships and from land and air transport by laying down air quality management plans and conforming to the Marpol Convention and to Framework Directive 96/62/EC of the Council of 27 September 1996 concerning the evaluation and management of the quality of the ambient air(2);

11. Calls for the establishment of an EU-wide network for the exchange of best practices among EU ports; calls upon regional organisations that include EU and non-EU members, such as the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), to adopt compatible procedures and practices in order to facilitate regional trade and save costs;

12. Emphasises most strongly that any debate on Europe and its maritime policy, if it is to succeed, must include the major role played by the European recreational craft sector in terms of local economic development, since marinas are not only a showcase for their hinterland, and a powerful tool for promoting the exploitation of the port and its environs, but also an essential supply service for local businesses.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

8.4.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Emmanouil Angelakas, Stavros Arnaoutakis, Elspeth Attwooll, Rolf Berend, Jana Bobošíková, Victor Boştinaru, Antonio De Blasio, Petru Filip, Gerardo Galeote, Iratxe García Pérez, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Gábor Harangozó, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Rumiana Jeleva, Gisela Kallenbach, Tunne Kelam, Evgeni Kirilov, Miloš Koterec, Constanze Angela Krehl, Sérgio Marques, Miroslav Mikolášik, James Nicholson, Jan Olbrycht, Maria Petre, Markus Pieper, Pierre Pribetich, Elisabeth Schroedter, Grażyna Staniszewska, Catherine Stihler, Margie Sudre, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vladimír Železný

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Bernadette Bourzai, Jan Březina, Brigitte Douay, Den Dover, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Francesco Ferrari, Madeleine Jouye de Grandmaison, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Ljudmila Novak, Mirosław Mariusz Piotrowski, Zita Pleštinská, Samuli Pohjamo, Manfred Weber

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Jean-Paul Gauzès, Jacques Toubon

(1)

OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 296, 21.11.1996, p. 55.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.6.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Gabriele Albertini, Inés Ayala Sender, Etelka Barsi-Pataky, Michael Cramer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Arūnas Degutis, Christine De Veyrac, Petr Duchoň, Saïd El Khadraoui, Robert Evans, Francesco Ferrari, Brigitte Fouré, Mathieu Grosch, Georg Jarzembowski, Timothy Kirkhope, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Jaromír Kohlíček, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Seán Ó Neachtain, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Paweł Bartłomiej Piskorski, Reinhard Rack, Brian Simpson, Renate Sommer, Dirk Sterckx, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Yannick Vaugrenard

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, Philip Bradbourn, Nathalie Griesbeck, Lily Jacobs, Elisabeth Jeggle, Maria Eleni Koppa, Helmuth Markov, Rosa Miguélez Ramos, Vural Öger, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Corien Wortmann-Kool

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Ioannis Gklavakis, Helmut Kuhne, Maria Petre

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