workers call on the EU to come forward with measures to tackle unfair trade and investment
On 25 May, employers and workers’ representatives for the European maritime technology sector met online to adopt a strong joint statement on the need for a future European maritime technology industrial policy which is urgently required to support the survival, resilience and competitiveness of European shipyards and maritime technology providers.
The Joint Statement which follows the European Commission’s recent communication "Updating the 2020 New Industrial Strategy: Building a stronger Single Market for Europe’s recovery " insists on the need for sectoral specific measures to support the Maritime Technology sector, which is not fully covered by current ‘’horizontal’’ measures (e.g. Trade Defence Instruments). Concretely, the Joint Statement includes five core demands for EU policy makers:
- A sectoral approach to safeguard the sector and save jobs;
- Action to stimulate domestic demand;
- Cooperation and support to safeguard jobs and protect skills;
- The adoption of policy measures to ensure fair competition;
- Action to protect European strategic assets.
Judith Kirton‐Darling, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, said:
‘’COVID-19 has put extra pressure on the European maritime technology sector which was already struggling under fierce global competition due to unfair State aid. New orders in Europe have collapsed and workers are uncertain as to whether they will have a job in the future. The sector provides more than 1 million jobs in Europe and we cannot lose these high-quality jobs which are crucial for many communities and regions across Europe."
‘’While some countries have actively supported their domestic maritime technology sector, including India, China and South Korea, European shipyards and their supply chains continue to suffer with no sector specific support on the horizon. European workers call on the EU to come forward with measures to tackle unfair trade and investment in shipyards and their workforces.’’
Christophe Tytgat, Secretary General of SEA Europe, said:
“Europe’s maritime technology industry develops the most advanced vessels and technologies in the market. However, the pressure from unfair competition, and the impact of COVID-19 in some of Europe’s most prominent niche markets, are putting the sector at serious risk.“With this Joint Statement, industry and workers want to send a strong message to policy makers reminding them that Maritime Technology is a strategic sector at the core of Europe’s maritime autonomy and resilience. If we don’t ensure today an adequate framework to keep a strong and competitive maritime technology sector in Europe, the continent with the largest coastal area and domestic market in the globe will become dependent on third countries to develop our ships, offshore structures and maritime technologies, and we will lose an industry providing 1 million jobs with a huge potential to increase its market share and job creation in the coming years thanks to the green and digital transition.”