MEP Tom Berendsen (EPP) published his report on a Parliamentary resolution demanding an overarching EU ports strategy. The idea behind this report is to ensure the future competitiveness and resilience of European ports and prevent any foreign dependency in this sector.

The report is attached for your information.

nter alia, the draft report suggests that the EU ports strategy should set limits on foreign investment to prevent third-country presence that could undermine security in the EU. In this regard, the text singles-out China for prohibiting EU shipping companies from cabotage operations in chinese waters while chinese vessel are allowed such operations between EU ports.

According to the rapporteur, such a strategy should aim at creating the right framework for European public and private investors to invest in critical port infrastructure and should work hand-in-hand with other legislation such as the upcoming revision of the FDI Regulation.

Additionnally, the text stresses the role of ports in the energy transition as servicing stations for offshore energy facilities and as nodes in transport systems supporting the energy transition. The Commission is also asked to analyse the impact of container alliances under the EU competition rules (CBER) on “non-EU country influence in EU ports” – to recall, this is currently ongoing.

The publication of the report is the first step. Other parliamentary groups will now have to draft their amendments (deadline on 12 October) before a final version can be agreed upon. The report is set to be adopted in committee in December 2023 and in plenary in January 2024.