On 4 – 5 March 2014 an ETF Dockers‘ meeting was held in Lisbon to discuss the forthcoming adoption of a European regulation (COM (2013) 296 final) for “establishing a framework on market access to the port services and financial transparency of ports,” whose draft was adopted by the European Commission in May 2013. A vote in the Transport Committee of the European Parliament will take place on 18. 03. 2014.
It was pointed that despite the two-year effort of all stakeholders the proposal still shows several weaknesses.
– Free access to port services as mooring, towage and pilotage conflicts the ports ’public service obligations and threaten safety and security without any clear economic efficiency;
From the 1st of January 2014 the European Union will assume for one year the chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) with Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) as EU chairperson. The chairmanship of the Contact Group is a joint endeavour of the EEAS and the European Commission and will continue the work carried out in 2013 under the chairmanship of the United States.
While the number of hostages has gone down from more than 700 in 2011 to around 50 today, the European Union is strongly committed to bringing this number down to zero: zero ships and zero seafarers in the hands of Somali pirates.