Fourteen years since its first attempt, the EU is still searching for a European port policy able to increase the competitiveness of European ports. PortEconomics members Thanos Pallis and George Vaggelas in their article at “Naftika Chronika” magazine argue that market access to port services is no longer the “Holy Grail” for the EU’s port industry and institutions or at least is not the only one.
EU has adopted a more flexible approach towards liberalisation of market access exempting the most controversial cargo handling and passenger services. Apart from market liberalisation and in the light of the projected increase in the cargo and passenger throughput in the EU ports, several other issues are in the forefront of the relevant EU initiatives. The development of a port environmental agenda and the formation of a level playing field, the social dialogue between the major stakeholders of the EU port industry and the infrastructure needs of the EU ports are playing a crucial role in the formation of an EU port policy.
Based on these evolutions as well as on the developments in the global and EU port industries operating in a highly volatile environment, the EU port policy seems to be at a crossroads and should aim at avoiding the mistakes of the past and shaping the conditions for the future.
Thanos and George press article can be freely downloaded @PortEconomics.eu.