Sea Europe welcomes the own-initiative report on “Building a Comprehensive European Port Strategy” adopted by the European Parliament


On 17 January, the European Parliament (EP) adopted the own-initiative report “Building a Comprehensive European Port Strategy”. The report recognizes the strategic importance of Europe’s waterborne ecosystem, including shipbuilding and maritime equipment manufacturing as the drivers of the European economy.

SEA Europe welcomes the EP’s commitment to protecting the economic independence of the EU’s waterborne ecosystem, against the background of increased Chinese investments in Europe’s maritime infrastructure.

The report also underlines the growing importance of safeguarding critical infrastructure at sea and underwater, encompassing energy pipelines, communication networks, and offshore renewable energy facilities. Against this background, SEA Europe urges the European Union to harmonize measures that strengthen the resilience and protection of these critical infrastructures, ensuring the safety and security of EU waters and operations.

Finally, the report recognises the need for EU measures against Asia’s unfair competitive practices, which pose a risk to the EU’s economic security. In the maritime technology sector, Europe’s heavy reliance on Asian shipbuilding has led to a loss of shipbuilding markets and consequently to a threat to the region’s technological sovereignty.

Christophe Tytgat, Secretary General of SEA Europe, commented, “The EP’s call on the European Commission to urgently define an ambitious European Industrial Maritime Strategy is highly appreciated and very timely. Adequate measures to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of European shipyards, maritime equipment manufacturers, and their entire supply chains are necessary to secure Europe’s strategic autonomy, defence, and security but also to enabling this industry to full tap into the economic growth that the EU’s political ambitions offer in terms of potential to build and retrofit future proof zero-emission, sustainable and digital waterborne transport. An ambitious European Industrial Maritime Strategy will also offer the maritime technology industry the relevant means to full exploit Europe’s Blue Economy and related activities, including offshore wind energy”.

SEA Europe looks forward to the European Commission taking urgent and proactive steps to address the needs of the waterborne sector and translates the EP’s report and recommendations into tangible policy and/or legislative actions to the benefit of the sustainability, competitiveness and resilience of Europe’s maritime (technology) industry as well as to the benefit of Europe’s own future.

Davide Cucino, Chairman of SEA Naval, added “we also welcome the direct references to the critical infrastructure protection, both at sea and underwater. Ensuring the safety and security in EU waters and ports is paramount to the EU strategic autonomy, and this requires adopting an ambitious strategy reflecting the indivisible link between civil and military shipbuilding, a European Industrial Maritime Strategy.”

Background Note:
SEA Europe represents close to 100% of the European shipbuilding industry in 16 nations, encompassing the production, maintenance, repair, and conversion of all types of ships and floating structures, commercial as well as naval, including the full supply chain with the various producers of maritime systems, equipment material, and services. As an NGO observer at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), CESA represents the shipbuilding industry and its supply chain from EU Member States, Norway, and Turkey.

Share this!