Opatija, 11 March 2020

In the framework of the High Level Ministerial Maritime Conference, that took place at Opatija, Croatia, the Ministers responsible for waterborne transport policy, covering maritime transport and inland navigation, addressed the topic of maritime affairs and adopted the so-called Opatija Declaration. This Declaration will provide guidelines to the Member States for the development of maritime policy by 2030 in the context of the protection of the marine environment, with a focus on supporting the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships and further digitization in maritime and inland navigation.

The Declaration is based on five key points: 

  • environmental protection,
  • digitization,
  • human resources,
  • security and competitiveness.

The Ministerial Declaration on Waterborne Transport also:

  • Recognized Waterborne Transport as having a strategic and vital role for the EU economy.
  • Underlined that “any measure towards carbon neutrality must be flag neutral whilst ensuring a level playing field and avoiding carbon leakage.”
  • Supports the Waterborne partnership.
  • Recognized the role of LNG as a transitional fuel.
  • Emphasized “the need to develop carbon-neutral port activities through the promotion of green initiatives on port operations, vessels and energy industrial production”.
  • Highlighted the importance of the complete and timely implementation of European Maritime Single Window Environments (EMSWe).