In January 2009 the European Commission presented a Communication on the strategic goals and recommendations for EU maritime transport policy in order to define the main strategic objectives until 2018 and recommend actions to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of the maritime transport sector.

This Communication, focusing on different areas such as European shipping in globalised markets, human resources, quality shipping, international scene, Short Sea Shipping and research and innovation, is currently the subject of a Public Consultation aimed at collecting views on the EU Maritime Transport Strategy thus contributing to the Mid-Term Review of the Strategy.

The CPMR participated in this consultation underlining that maritime transport must be encouraged as a sustainable mode of transport and insisting on the fact that any additional liberalisation must be accompanied by further harmonisations, in order for EU Members States not to be penalised.

Furthermore, for the CPMR regions, some EU instruments such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Motorways of the Sea included in the TEN-T programme must be mobilised in order to better focus on improving the accessibility of remote, island, outermost and peripheral regions. Unfortunately, the latest CEF call fails to take on board this demand, despite the fact that the legal basis was clear on this requirement, in line with the principle of territorial cohesion set out in the Treaty.

Concerning the part of the survey focusing on the potential improvement of the attractiveness of maritime careers, the CPMR called for more international mobility for students, teachers and workers, referring to the recommendations of the Vasco da Gama project, and proposed to introduce EU financial support to on-board trainees.