The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has developed a series of proposals for consideration in the European Commission’s TEN-T review.
The Commission’s comprehensive review of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy was launched in April 2019 with a three-month public consultation programme; to be followed by an evaluation study and targeted stakeholder consultations ahead of a proposed programme of revisions to the policy, provisionally set to take place in 2021. ESPO has produced a set of recommendations for the shipping arm of TEN-T, with the goal of ensuring the policy takes into account the significant role of the ports sector and is appropriately adapted to meet recent social, technological and market developments.
ESPO’s recommendations for the TEN-T review call on evaluators to recognise the evolving role of ports within the transport ecosystem, saying: ‘European ports are at the crossroad of supply chains, they cluster transport, energy, industry and blue economy. European ports and their managing bodies are at the service of the European economy and society. They are a strategic partner in responding to today’s main challenges of decarbonisation and digitalisation.’ The proposals also highlight the need for greater co-operation between sectors and EU policies, noting divergence between TEN-T in its current incarnation and other EU policies on alternative fuels and urban mobility.
Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO, said: “European ports remain strong supporters of the 2013 Europe’s Transport Infrastructure Policy, which literally put the seaports on the TEN-T map. It is now time to adapt the framework to the new market realities, new challenges and new needs. Looking in a more comprehensive way at what ports can do, not only for transport, but also in terms of decarbonisation of society and digitalisation of supply chains and having that mirrored in the guidelines, is one of the ‘to-do’s in this review. Nowadays ports are much more than a component of maritime transport, they have a pivotal role between the different modes and the different networks.”