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Towards a new maritime strategy for Europe

The European Commission has published a communication entitled "Towards a new maritime strategy" which reassesses Community maritime policy and sets out a new approach to maritime strategy, in particular with regard to the competitiveness of EU shipping.

In its communication,...
The European Commission has published a communication entitled "Towards a new maritime strategy" which reassesses Community maritime policy and sets out a new approach to maritime strategy, in particular with regard to the competitiveness of EU shipping.

In its communication, the Commission puts forward proposals in the following areas:

- Safety, including:
. Efforts to reach international agreement on certain conditions for flag administrations and their ship registers;
. Proposal for Community legislation laying down certain principles for Member States' shipping registers;
. Promotion of self-regulatory codes of behaviour and incentives to achieve high quality standards (fiscal incentives, differential port charges, etc.);
. Possible legislative action on financial sanctions for cargo owners who knowingly or negligently use sub-standard shipping;
. Examination of the question of mandatory third party liability coverage for entry to EU ports.

- Maintaining open markets, notably by securing free access and fair competitive conditions worldwide, and pushing for international agreement on competition principles so as to allow EU shipping access to external markets;

- Ensuring the competitiveness of the EC shipping sector, through:
. Action to promote maritime training and attract young people to the industry thus safeguarding maritime expertise within the EU;
. Improved monitoring of compliance with International Labour Office (ILO) requirements by all shipping entering ports;
. Fostering of Community RTD in the maritime sector;

- State aid:
The Commission will continue to monitor state aid to the maritime sector, and will issue revised guidelines on state aid to shipping. A research project on the economic impact of shipping in Member States has also been initiated.

The Commission further intends to formally withdraw two long-standing legislative proposals:

- Proposed Regulation establishing a Community Ship Register (Euros), from 1989/1991;
- Proposed Regulation on a common definition of a Community shipowner, from 1989/1991.

A general overview and policy approach concerning the status and future of all the maritime industries of Europe can be found in the parallel Commission communication "Shaping Europe's maritime future - a contribution to the competitiveness of Europe's maritime industries".
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