24 May 2013

Press Release: CLECAT welcomes new EU proposal on Ports policy as step in the right direction

CLECAT is pleased that the Commission has finally made its policy proposals on Ports public. CLECAT welcomes the publication of the proposal for a Regulation establishing a framework on market access to port services and financial transparency of ports. The legislative proposal is accompanied by a Communication entitled: 'Ports: an engine for growth.'

Ms Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT says: "The proposal calls for modernisation of EU ports and financial transparency which is an important step in the right direction."

She continued: "CLECAT remains convinced that where restrictive practices exists, the European Commission should exert its influence to ensure the parties concerned engage together in order to find appropriate ways to remove restrictive and anti-competitive practices. We are doubtful that the current proposal provides the best instruments to this effect." The situation with regards to restrictive labour practices has largely improved in Europe over recent years. However, it remains the case that there are some ports where practices remain highly restrictive, and amount to what is in effect a 'closed shop' where service providers may not select the personnel of their own choice. This was also acknowledged by a recent study on port labour.

CLECAT welcomes the fact that users must be consulted on the coordination of port services, hinterland connections, administrative simplification and other relevant issues. This will ensure that the real needs of the port service users are taken into account, which will improve the performance and quality of services of ports. The proposed Port user committees are a useful tool to create 'meetings of minds' rather than as adversaries and help facilitate initiatives and best practices that may emanate for others to adopt.

CLECAT will analyse the proposals in more detail and publish a response in the coming weeks. For further questions please contact:

Nicolette van der Jagt
Director General