For Europe, maritime transport has been a catalyst of economic development and prosperity throughout its history. Maritime Transport enables trade and contacts between all the European nations. It ensures the security of supply of energy, food and commodities and provides the main vehicle for European imports and exports to the rest of the world. Almost 90% of the EU external freight trade is seaborne. Short sea shipping represents 40% of intra-EU exchanges in terms of ton-kilometers. The quality of life on islands and in peripheral maritime regions depends on good maritime transport services. Each year, more than 400 million passengers embark and disembark in European ports. Overall, maritime industries are an important source of employment and income for the European economy.
The European Commission's objective is to protect Europe with very strict safety rules preventing sub-standard shipping, reducing the risk of serious maritime accidents and minimizing the environmental impact maritime transport. The Commission also works actively against piracy and terrorism threats. Another important activity concerns the social dimension, looking after working conditions, health and safety issues and professional qualifications of seafarers. Finally, the Commission works for the protection of citizens as users of maritime transport services, ensuring safe and secure conditions, looking after their rights as passengers and examining the adequacy of the public service maritime transport connections proposed by Member States.
The Commission has recently updated its strategic goals and recommendations for the EU Maritime Transport Policy until 2018 . Action in the area of maritime transport aims at ensuring the long term performance of the European maritime transport system as a whole to the benefit of all other economic sectors and of the final consumer. The Commission supports actively the efforts of the EU Member States and of the European shipping sector offering quality shipping services in Europe and all over the world.
e-Maritime Annual Conference 2012: Connecting the maritime world - towards 202022/11/2012 - 23/11/2012
Conference on the European ports policy review: "Unlocking the growth potential" 25/09/2012 - 26/09/2012
Piracy, the curse of maritime transport28/03/2012 - 29/03/2012
Pilotage Exemption Certificates in the European Union14/02/2013 - 21/05/2013
2nd Stakeholder Consultation on the revision of the Marine Equipment Directive 96/98/EC13/04/2012 - 29/05/2012
Public consultation on a review of EU passenger ship safety legislation13/04/2012 - 05/07/2012