European Coordinators and Baltic ports meet to discuss their role within MoS
A recent webinar gathered all four of the European Coordinators and a number of Baltic ports in order to analyze the priorities and needs for a sustainable and effective multimodal transport as part of the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) agenda in the Baltic Sea region (BSR).
During the event, Bogdan Ołdakowski, Secretary General, Baltic Ports Organization (BPO), presented a number of recommendations for EU institutions, governments and policy makers. These can be divided into four distinct points:
• EU financial support is vital for the development of sea ports and hinterland transport infrastructure in the BSR, as ports in the region have been growing steadily in the last years and this growth is expected to continue. Such support will foster smooth growth and facilitate efficient movement of cargo and people and thus contribute to economic growth in the BSR
• A dedicated approach should be put in place to support the compliance of maritime transport on the Baltic Sea with the much more strict environmental regulations than those applicable in other EU regions. Such an approach would support the important issue of ensuring equal market conditions in whole Europe.
• A more balanced distribution of CEF II founds between different modes of transport should be applied in order to secure equal financial opportunities for maritime transport in the BSR.
• Attention should be given to the involvement of comprehensive ports in the CEF II instrument in order to maintain the efficiency of SSS networks in the Baltic, which are vital for the performance of the shipping patterns.
Apart from the above, further domains can be highlighted as part of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). These can be broken down into a number of Policy Areas (PAs), aimed at saving the highly delicate ecosystem of the Baltic Sea, overall improvement of connectivity in the region and actions related to increasing prosperity.
PA Ship contains actions focused on reducing emissions, clean shipping and development of shore-side facilities for alternative fuels. PA Safe consists of initiatives linked to establishing reliable navigational conditions and preparedness in case of maritime accidents. PA Energy focuses mainly on energy efficiency, gas and electricity market integration and renewable energy. PA Transport stresses the importance of transport connectivity improvement and climate-neutral solutions. PA Innovation is meant to make the process challenge-drive and co-creative. Digitalisation and digital solutions are part of nearly each of these areas.
All four of the European Coordinators took part in the meeting: Prof. Kurt Bodewig (MoS), Pat Cox (Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor), Anne Elisabet Jensen (Baltic-Adriatic Corridor) and Catherine Trautmann (North Sea-Baltic Corridor). Their participation underscores the importance of the BSR and the MoS programme for the overall EU transport strategy. It also allowed a number of Baltic ports to engage in direct dialogue with the policymakers, as representatives of the Ports of Gdynia, HaminaKotka, Tallinn and Ystad also participated in the webinar programme.