On the 2nd of September, the general secretary for transport Carmen Librero and the general director of the Marina Mercante, Rafael Rodríguez Valero, met the president of the SPC-Spain Manuel Carlier and the technical director of the organisation Pilar Tejo in the premises of the Ministry of Development. They were handed over a document with concrete proposals for actions to promote the objectives of the Athens Declaration at a national level.
The Declaration, which was signed by the transport ministers of the EU in May 2014, contains several very significant positive references to short shipping (SSS) in which it is stated that it “should play a greater role in EU to ensure the necessary accessibility and trade flows, including those linking the mainland and the islands, and to transfer the transport of long distance freight from road to sea, and thus meet the challenges of capacity, energy and climate “. In particular, the Ministers expressly recognized “the important role of national associations promoting SSS.”
In May 2015, a year after the Declaration was signed, the most representative business organizations in the European maritime sector (ECSA, ESPO, ECASBA, ESC, ESN, Interferry, WSC, CLECAT and FEPORT) submitted a letter to the Commission in which they urged progress on the objectives and commitments for the development of SSS embodied in it, and to move forward with concrete and effective measures to achieve them. The undersigned organizations recalled that the potential of short sea shipping is not yet fully developed, due to obstacles that prevent it.
Among other outstanding measures to overcome such obstacles, they mentioned:
- Facilitate access to financing for investments in both the shipping and the port areas,
- Financial support to the European Network of SSS Promotion Centres (ESN),
- Reduction of barriers in administrative and regulatory sectors to establish a genuine European maritime transport space without borders,
- The support and promotion of the Ecobono as a measure to competitively reinforce SSS
- Reducing the cost of port services for SSS,
- The importance of training professionals from both the port and the maritime sectors.
The document presented by SPC contains concrete measures to implement these programme lines in Spain and in matters of competence of the Spanish Ministry of Development.
The Secretary General of Transport expressed gratitude for the initiative and shared need to meet the objectives established in the Declaration of Athens in connection with the SSS, developing a “road map” in which the SPC Spain’s proposals will be taken into account.