Time for "Fit for 55" implementation


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On April 8th, 2024, FEPORT Secretary General and 27 high-level representatives of different parts of the mobility value chain and representatives of various transport modes have been invited by the European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, Commissioner Vălean and Commissioner Šefčovič to participate to the Clean Transition Dialogue on Clean Mobility.

The objective of the in-person meeting was to hear the views of the participants representing the port industry, shipyards, rail, aviation, car manufacturers, road transport, NGOs, recharging infrastructure and alternative fuels producers on how we can ensure the transition to clean transport, strengthen the business case for private investments in zero and low carbon mobility while maintaining and reinforcing the competitiveness of the EU transport sector.

The meeting was opened by the EU Commission’s President, Ms Ursula Von der Leyen and co-chaired by Commissioners Maroš Šefčovič and Adina Valean in presence of the staff of several directorates of the EU Commission (DG Grow, DG CLIMA, DG ENER, DG MOVE, DG Comp, DG RTD etc..) as well as institutions such as the EIB.

While all industry representatives reiterated their full support to the objectives of the Green Deal and the need to speed up the reduction of emissions in a context where signs of climate change are becoming more and more disruptive (droughts, floods and wildfires), many highlighted the need to also preserve the competitiveness of EU industries.

In her address, Ms Von der Leyen recognised the need for massive investments for the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy which until 2030 will require at least EUR 100 billion per year for transport infrastructure alone. AFIR, the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation which sets binding targets for EU Member States in terms of deployment of the recharging and refuelling infrastructure which will require from Member States to mobilise at least EUR 1.3 billion that should be completed by more than EUR 6 billion private investment.

The objective according to the President of the EU Commission, is to deliver clean electricity to nearly 60 ports and over 50 airports.

The stability and reliability of supply chains was also a topic discussed during the dialogue. Green steel, batteries, other critical components, and raw materials are essential for the good functioning of many industries. Geopolitical tensions and the war in Ukraine have both amplified the awareness and revealed the urgency to bet on innovation and reduce dependency.

But what is also important is the necessity to give time for implementation of the newly adopted EU environmental framework.

FEPORT Secretary General, Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj like other participants underlined the contribution and resilience of the EU transport sector as well as its enabling role. She also highlighted the necessity to grant time for implementation and to preserve the competitiveness of EU ports.        

It is crucial that competitiveness remains high on the agenda. We need time to implement the adopted legislation and, if harmonisation at global level (IMO) is not possible, then we should not exclude adjusting our legislation to preserve the competitiveness of EU industries,” said Ms Kerdjoudj.

We need to massively invest in infrastructure, to better connect ports to all transport modes, but also in energy transition and in digital networks. We need to ensure a real level playing field within the internal market and between ports when it comes to the financing of the energy transition.” added FEPORT Secretary General.          

Finally, we need to allow SMEs to have access to funding by simplifying application procedures to boost innovation and to intensify efforts to attract and retain talents. “concluded Ms Kerdjoudj



02.04.2024  – More than ever, Europe needs more budget for transport – Brussels

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44 European transport organisations, among which FEPORT, representing the key spectrum of Europe’s transport network, are again joining forces in a campaign to urge the Council and the European Parliament to increase the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget for transport in the upcoming review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework.  

The transport sector is of strategic importance in responding to Europe’s geostrategic, environmental and capacity challenges. Recent and ongoing crises have proven once again that only with a strong, adaptable and innovative transport sector at its core, Europe will be able to respond effectively to massive disruptions and safeguard its supply chain sovereignty. If Europe is to strengthen its resilience, be a leader in the shift to net-zero and finally complete the Trans-European Transport Network, it must translate its words into deeds and reflect these ambitions in the new EU budget for transport.

The massive oversubscriptions of the current CEF transport budget underline once again that the ambitions and challenges of the transport sector are high but are not met with the necessary EU support. The take-away for European leaders and policymakers should be clear: this is the moment for Europe to reverse the trend of continued underfunding of the transport sector and set the bar high. A strong CEF instrument for transport is the best guarantee to deliver high EU added value, foster a level playing field across Europe and enable no regret investments.

The leaflet of the transport campaign for the review of the next EU budget is attached and available here and was officially handed over to the Commission during the Connecting Europe Days, on the 4th of April.

“The EU must be ambitious for its transport sector as for all industries that belong to this fantastic enabler of trade, growth, and resilience. We need significant resources to decarbonise, to adapt the physical and digital transport infrastructure and optimise connectivity and capacity. More EU budget for transport should be a strategic priority. It is vital to safeguard the EU supply chain sovereignty and learn from the recent events we have been going through to prepare the future”. says FEPORT Secretary General, Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj.



03.04.2024 – Connecting Europe Days: Launch of the implementation of TEN-T Regulation – Brussels


On the 3rd of April, during a session dedicated to discussions on key measures following the adoption of the revised TEN-T Regulation, panellists exchanged about the geostrategic importance of the transport network, governance, new standards, extension of the network, cross-border cooperation and reinforced efforts to develop intermodal infrastructure. 

 MEP Karima Delli (Greens), highlighted three fundamental aspects of the revised piece of legislation: alignment with the objectives of the Green Deal, ensuring the resilience of EU transport infrastructure, and strengthening European governance in this domain. Harmonisation emerges as a key strategy for decarbonisation, with a primary focus on deploying multimodal terminals, recognised as central to the success of the TEN-T project.

Judith Engel, Board Member of ÖBB Infrastruktur AG, underlined the importance of meeting implementation deadlines in the coming years. She stressed the necessity of stable funding: sustainability in planning emerges as a major challenge, compounded by difficulties in coordinating efforts among Member States due to funding instability. Ms Engel also advocated for making freight and passenger rail more attractive and reliable, underscoring the importance of these modes in the overall transport network.

Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku (Finland), underscored the shift towards sustainability as a core principle, with the Finnish city committed to transitioning towards carbon neutrality by 2029. This commitment reflects a broader trend across European cities, which recognize the imperative to address environmental concerns in urban planning and development.

The Spanish Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente Santiago, who held the Spanish Presidency of the Council in transport matters when the TEN-T was adopted, emphasised the need for timely completion facilitated by a stable multiannual budget. Strengthening existing governance mechanisms and enhancing intermodality were highlighted as crucial steps.

Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport of Czech Republic emphasised the importance of bridging gaps between transport modes, leveraging the advantage of having a written timeline for completion. He stressed the need to upgrade infrastructure to meet future challenges, citing the conflict in Ukraine as a concrete example that underlines the necessity for resilient transport networks.

Mathieu Grosch, European Commission, called for addressing operational inefficiencies and bureaucratic hurdles to streamline implementation processes.

Finally, Guy Janssens, VP Strategic & Public Affairs at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, emphasised the pivotal role of the industry in both opportunities and challenges and the long-term perspective of ports, when building infrastructure. He noted the necessity of increased investments to transition ports into energy hubs. Additionally, Janssens pointed out challenges related to permitting for infrastructure projects, citing specific legislation that hampers the timely realisation of such projects.



04.04.2024 –  10 years of CEF: Main achievements and the way forward – Brussels


On the 4th of April, during the Connecting Europe Days (2-5 April), CINEA organised a session dedicated to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme. The aim of the panel discussion was to present how the CEF programme has already contributed to the objectives of the TEN-T, by demonstrating a number of achievements, presented by the relevant stakeholders, and to discuss the role of CEF as a catalyser in cross-border project financing, in particular in promoting cross-border cooperation and sustainability. 

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During the panel discussion, relevant stakeholders presented the main achievements of projects that have been implemented under the CEF, in particular for the railway, inland waterways and port sector. In general, the improvements included:

  • Modernisation of infrastructure
  • Enhancement of network efficiency
  • Increased accessibility
  • Reduction of travel time
  • Improvement of the environment and decarbonisation
  • Digital transformation

To emphasise the importance of the CEF budget for transport, during the afternoon session of the Connecting Europe Days event on the 4th of April, representatives of the European transport network, including FEPORT, handed over a campaign leaflet urging the Council and the European Parliament to increase the CEF budget for transport in the upcoming review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework.



05.04.2024 – European Maritime Space meeting at Connecting Europe Days – Brussels  

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On the 5th of April, Mr. Maarten Boot, Policy advisor at FEPORT, participated as a panellist in the European Maritime Space meeting which was organised as part of the Connecting Europe Days.

The meeting included a presentation of European Maritime Space coordinator of the European Commission, Mr. Marcin Wójcick, who outlined the main features of the new TEN-T regulation regarding the maritime sector, ports and the “European Maritime Space”.

The panel discussion featuring speakers from CLECAT, ECSA and HAROPA Port focussed on how the European Maritime Space can help creating an efficient and sustainable transport system covering various modes while supporting the development of short-sea shipping routes and promoting zero and low emission vessels.

Moderator Mr. Alexio Picco (Managing Director, Circle Group) asked FEPORT about its views on the implementation of cold ironing systems, to which Mr. Boot replied that the rollout of onshore power supply can only be a success when all main stakeholders including port authorities, shipping companies, electricity companies and terminal operators collaborate, adding that the financing of infrastructure remains a public task. Ms. Puccio on behalf of ECSA concurred on the need for collaboration when it comes to the deployment of green fuels, stressing that a dialogue with fuel suppliers, ports and operators is needed to ensure fuels are made available, affordable, and delivered in the right place.

Even though the deployment of OPS by 2030 is crucial from a health, climate and environmental perspective, challenges remain, according to FEPORT. For example, regarding grid capacity, due to the high electricity needs of ships using OPS but also of other port users that need to electrify such as industry stakeholders, terminal operators and hinterland transport modes connecting to ports. At the same time, questions persist regarding port stakeholders’ expected return on investment as FuelEU Maritime also allows for the use of other zero-emission technologies at berth beyond OPS only.

Still speaking about “Fit for 55”, Mr. Boot highlighted the impacts of this legislative package, most notably EU ETS Maritime, on the competitive position of port ecosystems as the extra-EU application of this Directive might induce shipping companies to reconfigure their routes at the expense of ports in the EU.

The topic of competitiveness was also raised by Mr. Virciglio, on behalf of HAROPA Port, who asked for "a competitiveness deal" to be sure that European ports remain a strategic asset for the European Union in a time where the world is changing fast and is more unpredictable than before with a fast succession of different types of crises. Speaking about Short Sea Shipping, HAROPA Port Director of Strategy highlighted the importance of this mode in allowing for the connectivity of Island Member States, adding that the definition of short sea shipping should take into account the connectivity needs of EU outermost regions.

Providing CLECAT views on the attractiveness and competitiveness of maritime transport, Ms. Van der Jagt stressed that the competitiveness of the sector heavily depends on the efficient integration of maritime and hinterland transport, which is the reason why CLECAT supports the European Maritime Space as it strengthens the multimodal connectivity of ports to the rest of the TEN-T.

The closing remarks were provided by Motorways of the Seas Coordinator Mr. Kurt Bodewig, for whom it was the last edition of the Connecting Europe Days as he is ending his term. He received warm thanks from the participants and audience and a strong acknowledgement of his efforts and achievements over the past years.



05.04.2024  – TEN-T Coordinators’ Position Paper – Brussels


The TEN-T Coordinators’ Position Paper entitled “Connecting Europe: A transport funding and financing that is adapted to the challenges ahead”, published at the beginning of April, emphasises the importance of the TEN-T network, which serves as the backbone of the Single Market. It facilitates seamless movement of people and goods and underscores the necessity of a resilient transport sector with robust infrastructure for shaping a sustainable, smart, and competitive Europe.

Recommendations outlined in the position paper include focusing investments on cross-border projects to create a unified network, particularly emphasising future military mobility corridors for enhanced resilience. Infrastructure must also adapt to climate challenges and support market dynamics.

The position paper also advocates for a strengthened EU funding programme, with clear focus and project-based selection. It should work in tandem with other funding instruments like Cohesion Policy Instruments and the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Regulatory reforms should foster competition and facilitate market entry.

Moreover, the paper suggests that public authorities should intervene financially to advance transport projects, targeting essential areas while avoiding market distortions. Innovative approaches should leverage private investments, and harmonisation of standards is crucial for efficiency.

Furthermore, the position paper recommends offering legal certainty to investors, incentivising private investments through grants or guarantees, and directing private finance to accelerate green transition for transport. Exploring additional EU revenue sources and simplifying funding conditionalities are also suggested.

In this regard, the successor of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) should prioritise cross-border projects and military mobility, operating under similar principles as the current CEF.

Additionally, it suggests expanding performance-based funding approaches, especially for national transport investments and climate resilience. De-risking and leveraging private investments through instruments like Invest EU are emphasised. Finally, the Commission should provide long-term legal and funding certainty to aid planning and alignment with EU priorities.

You can access the full document here.



08.04.2024 – Clean Transition Dialogue on Mobility – Brussels

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On April 8th, 2024, FEPORT and 27 high-level representatives of different parts of the mobility value chain and representatives of various transport modes have been invited by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Commissioner Vălean and Commissioner Šefčovič to participate in the Clean Transition Dialogue on Clean Mobility.

The objective of the in-person meeting was to hear the views of the participants on how we can ensure the transition to clean transport, strengthen the business case for private investments in zero and low carbon mobility while maintaining and reinforcing competitiveness of the EU transport sector.

The meeting was a very useful exercise and provided an opportunity to all representatives to share their thoughts and react to the concept note that was shared ahead of the meeting.



08.04.2024 – Business Europe’s Position Paper on the amendment on the Combined Transport Directive Brussels 


On the 8th of April, Business Europe has published its Position Paper on the Combined Transport Directive.

The document focuses on multimodal and intermodal optimisation in the European transport sector to foster decarbonisation and reduce externalities.

In its Position Paper, Business Europe:

  • Encourages the adoption of an ambitious regulatory framework at EU level to improve the efficiency of different transport modes and ensure cooperation between them rather than direct competition.
  • Proposes extending the scope of the current directive to include all intermodal transport operations within the EU, improving the definition of 'intermodal transport' to promote clarity and consistency at European level.
  • Supports the introduction of new eligibility criteria based on avoided externalities and calls for an urgent update of the Manual on External Costs of Transport to include a broader list of costs considered.
  • Welcomes the Commission's intention to increase and reinforce support measures for intermodal and combined transport, with a focus on compatibility and consistency between national and EU policies.
  • And in conclusion, supports the Commission's obligation to publish a market report on intermodal and combined transport every 5 years, emphasising the importance of the mandatory use of electronic freight transport information (eFTI) platforms to reduce administrative burdens and promote digitisation.



10.04.2024 – EP endorses plans to enhance maritime safety – Brussels

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On the 10th of April, the European Parliament amended the Maritime Safety Package, presented by the Commission in June 2023, which aims to modernise and strengthen EU maritime regulations related to safety and pollution prevention.

In particular:

  • The revised Regulation on maritime accidents investigation, negotiated by MEP Caroline Nagtegaal (Renew), envisions more efficient and faster investigations. It stipulates that investigations should start within two months and conclude within 12 months of the date of the casualty or incident.  The revised Regulation also mandates the inclusion of working and living conditions on board, which could have impacted the accident, as part of the investigations.
  • Concerning the revised port State control Directive, negotiated by MEP Vera Tax (S&D), the updated rules will feature refined criteria to target ships for inspection at ports. MEPs ensured that environmental deficiencies of ships will carry more weight in determining their risk profile.
  • With the revised flag State requirements Directive, also led by MEP Vera Tax (S&D), it is no required that flag States inspect their ships at least once every five years. These inspections will not only focus on safety but also on the environmental performance of the ships and the social conditions of the crews engaged in any international voyage. To facilitate maritime digitalisation, enhance transparency, and streamline monitoring, an EU database on ships flying the flag of a member state will be established within five years of the new rules coming into effect.
  • According to the revised Ship-source Pollution Directive, negotiated by MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP), the list of substances banned from discharge from ships, such as oil and noxious liquid substances, will now encompass sewage, garbage, and residues from scrubbers.

Next steps: EU countries will have 30 months to transpose the new provisions into national law and prepare for their implementation.



10.04.2024 – EP adopts first reading position on CountEmissions EU – Brussels


On the 10th of April, the European Parliament adopted its first reading position on the CountEmissions EU, thereby expressing their wish for a single EU methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. 349 MEPs voted in favour, 243 voted against and 12 abstained.

Rapporteur MEP Barbara Thaler (EPP, Austria) stressed: “The regulation is a step in the right direction. For the first time battery electric vehicles are not magically "zero-emission". However, the production and recycling of a vehicle was omitted, therefore the regulation still gives an unfair advantage to battery electric vehicles produced outside Europe. Without addressing the elephant in the room, the EPP cannot support this regulation."

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The regulation will not oblige transport operators to calculate their GHG emissions, but if they do choose to report, they should use the methodology provided by CountEmissions EU.

The Commission proposal focusses on door-to-door transport operations, but MEPs are asking for the regulation’s scope to be broadened, calling on the Commission to, within two years from the entry into force of the regulation, propose a new methodology allowing for the calculation of vehicles’ life-cycle emissions.

The rules also set the metrics that will allow transport users to easily compare GHG emissions, as information will be available on CO2 emitted per tonne kilometre and/or per passenger kilometre.

In order to reduce the administrative burden for SMEs, MEPs are asking the Commission to make available a free of charge public calculation tool.

The CountEmissions EU regulation is expected to have an impact on terminal operators as it covers “hub operations” i.e. the transhipment of passengers or freight through a hub (read: terminal). Non-SME terminal operators, in case they choose to report using the CountEmissions EU methodology are required to use primary data, whereas SME terminal operators may also rely on secondary data.



10.04.2024 – EU Commission announces over €424 million of EU funding to advance zero-emission mobility – Brussels


On the 10th of April, the Commission announced the support of 42 projects with more than €424 million in funding, aimed at facilitating the roll-out of alternative fuels supply infrastructure, to align with the objectives of the EU Green Deal. The AFIF call for application is currently open, with the deadline set for the 24th of  September.

The projects have been selected under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF) of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

AFIF's scope includes the provision of approximately 4,200 electric recharging points along the European TEN-T road network, as well as the establishment of 48 hydrogen refuelling stations catering to cars, trucks, and buses.

You can find more information here.



11.04.2024 – CEF energy issues €850m call for energy infrastructure projects - Brussels


On the 11th of April, CINEA published a call for proposal aimed at key cross-border infrastructure projects listed in the Union’s Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs), in line with the Trans European Network – Energy (TEN-E).

The call allocates €850m from the EU budget to support studies and projects for both PCIs and PMIs. The call will be open for submissions from April 30th to October 22nd, 2024.

Besides the usual categories, such as electricity, smart electricity grids and CO2 networks, as of this year hydrogen and electrolysers, and offshore projects from the latest PCI and PMI list can also apply for funding.

CEF Energy info day to present the call, explain its policy context and inform about the application and evaluation process will be held virtually on the 14th of May.



16.04.2024 – Solidarity Lanes: latest figures – Brussels


Following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU, together with Moldova and Ukraine, established the “Solidarity Lanes” in May 2022, to ensure a new transport route to keep Ukraine’s imports and exports flowing via rail, road and inland waterways.

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Since May 2022, the Solidarity Lanes have facilitated the export of around 131 million tonnes (Mt) of goods from Ukraine. This includes around 73 Mt of Ukrainian agricultural products such as grain and oilseeds, and around 58 Mt of non-agricultural goods including ores and steel.

Moreover, the Solidarity Lanes have been instrumental in facilitating Ukrainian imports, enabling the nation to bring in approximately 50 million tonnes (Mt) of goods, ranging from fuel and vehicles to fertilisers and military aid.

The total trade value via the Solidarity Lanes since May 2022 is estimated at around €149 billion, with around €48 billion for Ukrainian exports, including around €24 billion for agricultural products and around €24 billion for non-agricultural products. The total value of imports to Ukraine is estimated at ca. €101 billion.

The Solidarity Lanes are also laying the ground for the longer-term connectivity between Ukraine and the EU and will play a key role in Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts and integration into the EU single market.



17.04.2024 – SEA Europe organises event in European Parliament on “European Maritime Industrial Strategy” – Brussels

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On the 17th of April, SEA Europe, the association representing the maritime technology industry comprising shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers, organised a roundtable, which was co-hosted by MEPs Catherine Chabaud (Renew) and MEP Pierre Karleskind (Renew), where they voiced the urgent need for a European maritime industrial strategy.

MEP Karleskind called attention to the importance of the European maritime industry, stressing that “Tomorrow’s green ships must be European ships!

During the event, the maritime technology industry unveiled its ambitions for 2035 to supply 10,000 sustainable and digitalised vessels, to invest more than EUR 10 billion in highly efficient, automated and sustainable production facilities, and to recruit and re/upskill a total of 500,000 qualified workers.

In SEA Europe’s call for a Maritime Industrial Strategy, the association provides more detail on what measures they think should be adopted  to achieve these goals such as “made in Europe” requirements and non-price criteria in strategic public procurement markets, financial incentives for shipowners to build and retrofit vessels in Europe as well as the introduction of a “Maritime Industry Act” supporting the business case for sustainable and digitalised waterborne transport, ship production and Blue Economy.

SEA Europe also calls for a stronger maritime dimension in all relevant EU financial instruments, including through a flow-back of the revenues from the Emission Trading System (ETS) and FuelEU Maritime to maritime investment. Furthermore, SEA Europe advocated for the establishment of a pool of qualified workforce across Europe so as to ensure the availability of workers in the context of the cyclical nature of shipbuilding and ship repair.



17.04.2024 – Enrico Letta’s report on the Future of the Single Market

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On the 17th of April, the long-awaited report, authored by former Italian PM Enrico Letta and entitled “Much more than a market: Empowering the Single Market to deliver a sustainable future and prosperity for all EU Citizens” was published.

This report was Commissioned by the Belgian Presidency of the EU and aims at finding solutions to adapt the Single market to an evolving geopolitical and technological context, stressing that the Single Market should never be considered a completed endeavour but is rather an ongoing project that needs to be prepared for continuous evolution in line with the dynamics of current times.

It underlines the need to add a fifth freedom to the Single Market which currently covers the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, proposing to add the free movement of research, innovation, knowledge and education.

Transport is explicitly recognised in the report as a sector that stands out as one of the fundamental pillars enabling the free movement of people, goods and services across the Single Market, while calling attention to its contribution to economic integration, competitiveness, social cohesion and the EU’s agenda to transition towards a green economy.

However, achieving a genuine Single Market in the area of transport requires establishing a truly integrated Trans-European Network of Transport. Nevertheless, there is a risk that Member States will fail to meet the 2030 targets, in particular due to deficiencies in the rail network and multimodal connections linking rail and road networks to (air)ports. The investment needs to realise the TEN-T core network by 2030 are estimated around EUR 500 billion, while financial resources are insufficient. Funding from the EU, Member States, investors and financial institutions are therefore urgently needed, as well as coordination between them.

To fully harness the potential of the rail sector, Letta report points to the importance of deploying several key digital enablers of rail transport most notably the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) and Digital Capacity Management (DCM). To effectively migrate and deploy these technologies, which are essential building blocks of the modal shift envisaged in the Green Deal, centralised EU-level governance and coordination is key.

The Single Market in road transport is not yet achieved, as parts of both the road freight and road passenger transport markets are not fully open for competition between operators based in different Member States. Charging infrastructure for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles is still lagging, meaning industry, energy providers, network operators and policy makers need to step up their collaborative efforts to ensure the development of pan-European infrastructures.

The report recognises the role of maritime transport as an enabler of EU internal trade - 30% of freight transported between Member States is carried by sea - and EU external trade of which 75% takes place via the maritime mode. The maritime sector can however not fully benefit from the Single Market via short sea shipping as sea-borne traffic between Member States falls under “international traffic” and is therefore subject to customs procedures.  Improvements in this regard can be expected from the European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe), which also holds the potential of improving maritime transport’s integration in logistics chains.

Nevertheless, the report warns against possible unintended consequences of new environmental requirements such as EU ETS Maritime or the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), adding that it is paramount to prevent such measures from causing a modal shift back to road or towards non-EU ports with lower environmental standards, as this would undermine the EU’s environmental efforts.

The full report can be accessed here.



17.04.2024 – TIC 4.0 General Assembly – Valencia


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On April 17th, 2024,  the Terminal Industry Committee (TIC4.0) held its General assembly in Valencia.

Besides celebrating the significant publications since the previous GA, important announcements were made regarding the kick-off of the first ports and terminals digitalisation benchmark in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and of the kick-off with BSI of a PAS (Publicly Available Specification) as the first step towards TIC4.0’s standards becoming the future ISO standards for the terminal industry.       



22.04.2024 – ESPO publishes its priorities for 2024-2029 – Brussels


In light of the upcoming elections, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), published its memorandum for the years 2024-2029, entitled “A Net-Zero Smart, Resilient and Competitive Europe: Europe’s Ports are Part of the Solution”. The nine priorities outlined in the memorandum are as follows:

  1. Ensure the effective implementation of existing regulations.
  2. Provide ports with the space to take up their role as facilitator of renewable energy, by removing permitting barriers and financially supporting riskier pioneering energy investments.
  3. Reduce emissions and pollution, allowing ports to prioritise green investments.
  4. Safeguard the level playing field within the internal market and vis-à-vis Europe’s neighbours.
  5. Recognise the key role of ports in strengthening Europe’s resilience.
  6. Strive for a smart but safe and secure cyber environment.
  7. Ensure access to a robust funding support instrument for ports.
  8. Adopt a more integrated approach when developing new policies, fostering closer cooperation between stakeholders and EU policymakers.
  9. Attract people to work in ports by investing in new businesses and talents.



24.04.2024 – EP endorses updated TEN-T Guidelines – Strasbourg


On Wednesday 24th of April, the Parliament adopted the updated Guidelines on Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), during the last plenary session of the mandate in Strasbourg.

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Major transport infrastructure projects on the core TEN-T network should be completed by the end of 2030, to secure a comprehensive network by the end of 2050. To accelerate project rollout across the network, an intermediary deadline of 2040 has been introduced.

MEP Dominique Riquet (Renew), stated: “New rules will strengthen the performance, accessibility, security and resilience of our infrastructure, which is a key element of our sovereignty. It will also help to encourage Europeans to travel and make our economy more competitive.”

Next steps: The new rules on the guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network have now to be approved by the Council. After that, the revised TEN-T will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal.



Member’s News Corner


01.04.2024 – First methanol bunkering with deep-sea vessel – Port of Antwerp-Bruges


On the 1st of April, the world’s first large methanol-powered deep sea vessel made its inaugural call at Antwerp port's PSA European Terminal (MPET), marking a significant milestone in sustainable shipping. During its stay, the vessel received 4,300 tons of green methanol and 1,375 tons of biodiesel (B100) in a successful bunkering operation.

The bunkering process, conducted at the MPET terminal, involved seamless coordination between multiple parties, including TankMatch and VT Group, ensuring safety and efficiency. Simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) during bunkering and cargo handling optimised port stay duration, reflecting excellent stakeholder collaboration.

The event also signifies Port of Antwerp-Bruges' progression towards becoming a multifuel port, offering various climate-neutral fuels like hydrogen, ammonia, methane, and methanol for bunkering. The port already possesses infrastructure for storing climate-neutral fuels and is actively investing in additional capacity to support the energy transition.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, commented: “As the fifth largest bunkering port in the world, we are committed to playing a pioneering role in the integration of climate neutral fuels to the bunker market. Port of Antwerp-Bruges will provide facilities where possible, make both platforms multifuel ready and is itself committed to making its fleet greener by using alternative fuels.”

Source: PSA Antwerp website



15.04.2024 – Prodevelop and EUROGATE announce strategic services partnership – Hamburg

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Prodevelop and the EUROGATE Group are joining forces to create a digital twin of processes and equipment, with the aim of revolutionising operations and maintenance in Hamburg.

Prodevelop will integrate terminal equipment according to TIC 4.0 standards, increasing efficiency.



Events supported by FEPORT 


11-13.06.2024TOC Europe 2024 – Rotterdam


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FEPORT meetings


       14.05.2024                  Environment, Safety and Security Committee - Brussels

       30.05.2024                  Port Policy Committee – Antwerp

       30-31.05.2024             General Assembly meeting - Antwerp

       04.06.2024                  Customs and Logistics Committee - Brussels

       11.06.2024                   Social Affairs Committee – Brussels

       09.09.2024                   Customs and Logistics Committee - Brussels

       10.09.2024                   Environment, Safety and Security Committee - Brussels

       19.09.2024                   Port Policy Committee – Brussels

        26.09.2024                  Board of Directors - Brussels

        17.10.2024                  Social Affairs Committee – Brussels

        27.11.2024                 General Assembly Meeting – Brussels

        28.11.2024                 FEPORT Eighth Annual Stakeholders’ Conference – Brussels



Parliament meetings


         27.07.2024                 EMPL Committee Meeting - Brussels


Council of the EU meetings


         17.06.2024                 ENV Council – Brussels


FEPORT Newsletter - April 2024