Time has come to establish a real enabling framework for private investment in the EU and in Member States
Brussels, December 7th, 2016
Gathered for the General Assembly in Brussels, FEPORT members have formally endorsed the content of the White Paper “2017, 2018 and beyond” which expresses their expectations to policy makers.
The document will be handed out to Commissioner Bulc on December 8th at the beginning of the second Stakeholders’ conference organized by FEPORT in Brussels.
Since many years, private port operators have been contributing to the modernization of European ports and massively investing to accommodate their clients’ expectations on the seaside and landside.
Today, private port operators are facing big challenges.
In the container sector, the ever-increasing alliances are seeking to leverage their position to drive down handling costs, while at the same time expecting port operators to invest in the necessary equipment to handle bigger ships. This situation is becoming unsustainable in a context where the regulatory framework for ports is constantly changing be it at national or European level.
Time has come for the EU and Member States to acknowledge the role of the private sector and to adopt a real enabling framework for private investors. Private port operators cannot continue to invest if the returns from investing in and operating terminals are not sufficient and if the rules applicable to port investments are constantly reinterpreted.
“The current depressed growth aggravates the impact of market inefficiencies and reveals the necessity to better target investments on hinterland connections to improve the connectivity of the transport network” says Mr. Gunther Bonz, FEPORT President.
“Private port operators are ready to continue to invest but they need a clear and stable framework including fair and transparent governance rules and a real protection from risks of distortion of competition” comments FEPORT President.
“Taking risks is part of our business but this should not add up to other risks deriving from a non-stable and non-consistent regulatory framework. If the burden of constraints becomes too heavy, then private investment in ports and beyond will be postponed to the detriment of the European transport sectors” continues FEPORT President.
“We are confident that the European Commission and Member States will hear our call as it is a legitimate request that will benefit not only to private port operators but also to the whole maritime logistics chain” concludes Mr. Gunther Bonz.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid
Secretary General of FEPORT
Tel: +32 2 736 41 61