03 November 2023


On October 18th, 2023, CLECAT’s Director General Nicolette van der Jagt participated to the GreenPort Congress “Balancing environmental challenges with economic demands” held in Lisbon.

Ms van der Jagt participated in the “fully female” panel discussion which gathered other speakers: Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj, Director of FEPORT, Ms Isabelle Ryckbost Secretary General, European Sea Ports Organization, Ms Isabel Moura Ramos Executive Board Member, Port of Lisbon Authority and Ms Maja Markovčić Kostelac – Executive Director, European Maritime Safety Agency

Ms Nicolette van der Jagt, director of general of CLECAT, pointed out that all modes of transport, including maritime, have been confronted with a huge amount of legislation recently, including the Greening Freight Transport Package and the Customs Reform. “We try to bring the practicalities to a lot of the proposals from the EC which are often being made behind a desk,” she said. She noted that the adoption of the Fit for 55 package is a step forward and the legislation will accelerate the green transformation of the transport and logistics sector in Europe. The success of decarbonisation of the sector will depend on proper enforcement and compliance and sufficient investment incentives for the transport and logistics sector.

FEPORT Secretary General said that competitiveness and resilience are key for FEPORT members. “We are of course taking very proactive action within the EU when it comes to the environment, and this is something we should be proud of. At the same time, other regions are not adopting similar legislation. So competitors close to Europe are not going to have compliance and implementation costs that EU companies will have. That is of great concern. We want close and swift monitoring by the European Commission on the impacts – because, as you know, when cargo leaves a port, it generally doesn’t come back.”

Ms Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO, said: “Sustainability is one of the main pillars for ports – green and sustainability is the only way forward. But as we are now getting into the phase of implementation of European regulations, we already see some problems”.

Ms Isabel Moura Ramos, executive board member at the Port of Lisbon Authority, described the port’s discussions around the future of inland navigation to achieve a modal shift – “but we talk with operators and they say, who is going to pay for the movements in the terminal to the barge and from the barge to logistics and we say – we all need to pay it, it is not just the port authority. We are already paying that with the external negative impacts we have from the trucks that go out of our terminal. This is a difficult exercise but there is openness to new business models. We need to think about new business models inside the ports – there is no way out.”

Ms Maja Markovcic Kostelac, executive director of EMSA, said: “We as Europe are not just introducing high standards to implement them, but we are really trying to spread and promote a global approach.” This happens at the IMO and also includes issues such as workers’ and seafarers’ rights, she added. “The risk is global. Maritime transport is global, so solutions should be found on a global level. Nevertheless, we all know the global community is not a nice family sitting around the table sticking to agreement. We are not naïve. But we are trying to bring the same level playing field to the areas around us.’