Navigation path

Additional tools



Having competent staff is not only to uphold maritime safety and safeguard the marine environment, but is also essential to support the growth and the prosperity of the maritime industry in Europe. The European maritime industry suffers from an increasing lack of European seafarers, in particular officers. Such shortage is likely to increase in the coming years to the detriment of the maritime industry which needs maritime expertise and experience. The main objective of the European maritime policy in this field is to prevent abusive practices on board of ships calling at EU ports, improve social guarantees for seafarers on board EU-flagged ships and make the maritime profession more attractive.

Maritime careers (Waves of passion)

February 2004


Watch the video [21'50"]

Social Agenda for Maritime Transport

The Commission intends to present in 2011 a Social Agenda for Maritime Transport in line with the Communication from the Commission Europe 2020 on a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and following up on the Communication from the Commission on Strategic goals and recommendations for the EU's maritime transport policy until 2018. The aim of this initiative is to:

  • create/safeguard an adequate maritime labour force for the European shipping and maritime clusters;
  • create/foster employment of European seafarers;
  • safeguard the European maritime know-how;
  • promote maritime safety and security and the protection of the environment.

This initiative will include a Communication and legislative proposals regarding the enforcement of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 through port state control and the integration into EU legislation of the revised International Maritime Organisation Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention).

Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness

The Commission created in 2010 a Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness to develop ideas on ways to strengthen the attractiveness of the seafaring profession while keeping the EU shipping industry competitive. The Task Force delivered a set of policy recommendations in its Report (see link below) published in July 2011.