23/05/2013 at 12:00
Where: Brussels, Belgium
Organiser: European Commission
The European Commission will unveil an initiative to improve port operations and onward transport connections at key seaports along Europe’s coastline. The guidelines and legal changes being proposed will help port operators upgrade their services and facilities, and give them more financial autonomy.
Europe has one of the world's densest port networks. Ports are crucial for European business, for Europe's competitiveness, and they have a huge potential for job creation and investment. 74% of extra-EU goods are shipped through ports. They are equally important for intra-European trade: 37% of the intra-EU freight traffic and 385 million passengers pass through ports every year. But EU ports face some specific challenges:
cargo volumes are expected to rise 50% by 2030 — even more for the fast growing container traffic;
there exists a "performance gap" between ports that have adapted to new logistic and economic requirements and ports that have not kept up;
shipping fleets are increasing in size and complexity, and the ports need to adapt.
12:00 Vice-President Siim Kallas, statement at beginning of Commission midday briefing (Berlaymont pressroom, Brussels).
12:30 Technical briefing, off-the-record (Berlaymont pressroom, Brussels).
Press release and backgrounder will be available on the day.