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European transport organisations (totalling 44), representing the key spectrum of Europe’s transport network, operators and stakeholders, are again joining forces in a campaign to call the Council and the European Parliament for a robust transport funding instrument in the upcoming review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

The transport sector is of strategic importance in responding to Europe’s geostrategic, environmental and capacity challenges. Recent and ongoing crises have proven once again that only with a strong, adaptable and innovative transport sector at its core, Europe will be able to respond effectively to massive disruptions, safeguard its supply chain sovereignty and ensure economic and societal growth and welfare. If Europe is to strengthen its resilience, be a leader in the shift to net-zero and finally, complete the Trans-European Transport Network, it must translate its words into deeds and reflect these ambitions in the new EU budget for transport.

The massive oversubscriptions of the current CEF transport budget underline once again that the ambitions and challenges of the transport sector are high, yet are not met with the necessary EU support. The take-away for European leaders and policymakers should be clear: this is the moment for Europe to reverse the trend of continued underfunding of the transport sector and set the bar high. An even stronger CEF for transport or likewise funding instrument is the best guarantee to deliver high EU added value, foster a level playing field across Europe and enable no regret investments.

“Based on the first results of ESPO’s new investment study, Europe’s ports have already investment needs for a total of more than 80 billion EUR for the next ten years! The investment pipeline of ports reflects the multidimensional role ports have nowadays. Ports are not any more these mere nodes in the maritime supply chain. Without vital ports it is impossible to secure energy, realise the green transition, safeguard cohesion, have sustainable and competitive agriculture, remain attractive for industry - in particular for the new net-zero industries - and have strong military capabilities. Ports are fully committed, but need European support to turn all goals and ambitions into a success.” says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost

The leaflet of the More EU money for Transport coalition is attached and available here .

The campaign leaflet will be officially handed over to Magda Kopczyńska, Director General of DG MOVE during the Connecting Europe Days, on 4th April at 5.30pm. (Gold Hall – Square conference center)

ESPO’s new Port Investments Study, prepared by Dr. Peter de Langen, will be officially presented during the ESPO Conference in Paris on 26 April. A preview of the main results can be viewed here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) met with the EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean today, to discuss challenges facing ports in Europe and the role of a green transition.

The delegation consisted of ESPO’s Chair Zeno D’Agostino, Vice Chairs Daan Schalck and Ansis Zeltiņš, and ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

During the meeting, Europe’s ports exchanged views with the Commissioner on the current challenges facing ports. In addition the role that ports in Europe can play as partners in the green transition.

Representatives of ESPO explained how ports are taking up a wider range of roles and responsibilities on top of their traditional role as transport hub. Ports are not only consumers of energy, but also producers and suppliers of energy - in particular green energy. They do more than before. They combine bigger commercial activities with increasing public responsibilities. The role of the port is also often not limited to the port’s boundaries, but goes beyond. This has a major impact on investments, financing and business models. Tonnage is no longer the main and only port performance indicator.

ESPO also shared with the Commissioner the challenge to prepare and finance long term investments in a context of changing geopolitical realities and uncertainties. They further discussed the role of ports as critical infrastructure and hence the need for full political support at the different levels, both financially and non-financially.

“We had a constructive conversation and interesting exchange of views with the Commissioner. She clearly recognises the resilience ports has shown during the pandemic and also appraised the multidimensional role of ports. We hope to continue the dialogue with the Commissioner and her cabinet and be able to further explain which policy is needed for ports to be able to contribute to building a sustainable, resilient and competitive future for Europe”, said ESPO Chair Zeno D’Agostino at the outcome of the meeting.

Published in Ports & Shipping

RC35 Class

The concept of the RC35 Class is to bring together similar boats within a close handicap banding and to work with owners and crews to develop the best racing experience possible on the Clyde and the Irish Sea area. The Class is within a tight rating band (IRC 1.015-1.040) yacht racing will be in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Q: What is the RC35 ‘Rule’?
A: Qualifying yachts for the RC35 Class will sit within an IRC Banding of 1.015 to 1.040. In 2017 it is proposed that a tolerance of +/- 0.05pts will be permitted

Q: Are there any other criteria?
A: RC35 takes the most prevalent IRC racing boats on the Clyde and groups them within a fixed rating band. Qualifying boats will have an LOA 32ft—38ft and displacement of between 3,000kg—9,000kg. The rule also requires boats conform to ISAF Cat.4 be anti-fouled and not dry sailed. A limit of sail purchases (2 per year) also applies.

Q: What is the RC35 Championship?
A: The RC35 Championship will cover 8 events (6 to count) and include events such as Scottish Series, Dun Laoghaire/Bangor and an RC35 Championship weekend. Each year the Class will make a commitment to one ‘away’ regatta as part of the Championship.