The Transport Committee of the European Parliament has expressed its support (29 in favor, 13 against, 3 abstentions) for the compromise reached by MEP Knut Fleckenstein and the TRAN shadow rapporteurs on the proposal for a port regulation adopted in May 2013, the European Sea Ports Organisation said in its press release.
“When the proposal came out two years ago, we feared that it would cause a slowdown of well-performing European port engines, instead of providing ports the tools needed to face current and future challenges,” said ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.
“Thanks to the open and constructive dialogue with the rapporteur and the shadow rapporteurs serious steps have been set towards a realistic and acceptable Port Regulation and a possible deal with the Council.”
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes in particular the following elements of the compromise:
- Strengthening of the principle of autonomy of the port authority to set its own charges;
- A flexible framework for the organisation of port services respecting the diversity of port in Europe by allowing different tools (limitation, PSO, internal operator,…);
- Deletion of dredging from the scope of the Regulation;
- Request for more clarity on state aid for port infrastructure and the request to include certain port investments in the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER);
- More financial transparency when ports receive public funding;
- Opposition to enlarging the scope of the Concession Directive through this Regulation.
ESPO says that not all concerns have been addressed yet and hopes that the remaining issues can be further addressed during the negotiations with the Council.