An Analysis of the European Union’s Ports Policy

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Less than a year after the Commission’s proposal for a Directive on the market access for port services was rejected in the European Parliament, the submission of a revised version of the ‘port package’ by outgoing EU Commissioner Loyola de Palacio in October of 2004 was met by a widespread lack of enthusiasm by the European port industry and by dockers unions. Many people fear that if there is inadequate consultation this revised draft Directive will have the same fate as its predecessor. At the same time, the advent of the ISPS code has put in place an impressive array of regulations to safeguard EU ports from acts of terrorism and other unlawful acts. Also, the ‘Prestige’ tanker disaster has triggered important legislation that may affect ports, on top of existing safety and environmental protection policies and other measure.
This paper takes stock at the broad spectrum of both current and proposed port safety, security, and environmental protection legislation, vis-à-vis the general policy thrust of the EU in the area of transport and discusses the situation faced by the port sector and EU intermodal transport in the new regime.
Specifically, this paper tackles the following question: If one takes all important portrelated policy initiatives under consideration, would he or she conclude that things are going well for the European ports sector? The impressive array of regulations that are in place or are planned for the EU port sector warrant an attempt to make an analysis of the collective effectiveness of such instruments. Without being encyclopedic, such an attempt is made in this paper, by trying to identify problems, challenges and opportunities, along with recommendations on how to improve the current situation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2005
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventIMAM 2005: 11th International Congress of the International Maritime Association of the Mediterranean - Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 26 Sep 200530 Sep 2005
Conference number: 11


ConferenceIMAM 2005: 11th International Congress of the International Maritime Association of the Mediterranean


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