FEPORT welcomes the reactivity of the EU Commission and calls on Member States to mobilize appropriate support for all critical infrastructures
Brussels, March 23rd, 2020
Within few days, the European Commission has proposed a State aid Temporary Framework based on Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and triggered the clause to relax budget rules to remedy a serious disturbance across the EU economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The proposed new State Aid Temporary Framework that enables direct grants and selective tax advantages, State guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks and subsidised public loans to companies is positive news for SMEs but is not really tailored to support big corporations which are and shall also be heavily hit by the effects of COVID 19.
In the port sector, European private port companies and terminals who employ more than 390 000 port workers are currently mobilized to ensure business continuity and the good functioning of maritime logistics chains. European port companies include both SMEs as well as big corporations and all play a strategic role for critical infrastructures, i.e. European ports.
It is urgent that Member States make use of the provisions laid down in the Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and provide appropriate support to avoid disruption within EU supply chains as well as disastrous economic effects leading to significant job losses.
“As mentioned by many EU officials and Heads of State, we are living exceptional moments which require extraordinary action. It is important that all appropriate mechanisms beyond Article 107(3)(b) of the TFEU are mobilized by Members States and we welcome the President of the Commission’s decision to trigger the clause to relax budget rules” said FEPORT President, Mr Gunther Bonz.
“The impact of this crisis on economy and jobs will be tremendous and we need to take the right measures in a timely, efficient and effective manner. Member States and EU institutions must act to ensure the security of supplies thanks to all relevant critical infrastructures” added FEPORT President.
“As employers, we need to ensure a healthy and safe environment to our workers. They are all committed to continue to work because they are all aware of the strategic role played by critical infrastructures for all EU countries. We therefore call on Member States to support port companies also through the provision of protective equipment to guarantee the continuity of work” concluded Mr Gunther Bonz.
Like other stakeholders of EU maritime logistics chains, FEPORT members continue to accommodate vessels in the safest and most efficient way and remain committed to ensure the movement of cargo in European ports.
For more information, please contact:
Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid
FEPORT - Secretary General