EU plan to boost ports

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The European Commission is to put forward a package of measures to help ports remain competitive and support future growth, transport vice president vice-president Siim Kallas has announded during a visit to Rotterdam.

A conference on the future of European ports will be held in 2012. Following consultation with stakeholders, and an in-depth impact assessment, the Commission will present proposals for the port sector in 2013.

Kallas outline three areas for attention: reducing of the administrative burden in ports; improving the transparency of port financing; and measures on port services.

On port services he said: “Ensuring that there is a competitive and open environment in port services provision, for example, is crucially important for seaports to adapt to the new economic, industrial and social requirements.”

In addition, he said: “We need to help our ports stay competitive by cutting more red tape; the Blue Belt pilot project, a priority programme which explores new ways to facilitate short sea shipping, is already helping to reduce the administrative burden in ports.”

“We must improve the transparency of port financing to avoid any distortions of competition and make clear exactly where public money is going. This will encourage more private investment, vital if the ports sector is to grow.”

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