A meeting of the European Shortsea Network was held in Malta with representatives from 11 European countries participating in a full day’s meeting held at the head office of Malta Freeport Terminals.
The European Shortsea Network is an association made up of 28 European countries with their main objective being that of promoting shortsea shipping in Europe.
This network is recognised by the Directorate General of Mobility and Transport of the European Commission whose mission includes the promotion of transport through shortsea shipping. The European Commission acknowledges that transport by sea has the lowest carbon emission and thus is the most environmentally friendly.
In the mission adopted by the European Commission to promote the carriage of cargo by sea, every European country was invited since the year 2000 to set up a shortsea promotion centre so that such centres promote the European agenda at national levels. The volume of cargo moving by shortsea shipping within Europe amounts to over 1.7 billion tons of freight which covers liquid cargoes, dry bulk, containerised cargo and ro-ro traffic.
Notwithstanding this high figure, shortsea shipping has the potential for much higher volumes but unfortunately the system of transport by sea has to face a number of challenges or bottlenecks which interfere with the smooth transit of the cargo and add to the transport costs. For this reason, the shortsea promotion centres met in Malta to discuss these matters and to try and propose solutions after consultation with the industry and appropriate analytical assessments.
The presidency of the European Shortsea Network is currently held by Malta which also hosts the official registration of the European Shortsea Network as a legal entity.
The European Shortsea Network is today formally registered in Malta with the Commission for Voluntary Organisations thereby having a legal personality which permits it to participate also in EU tenders.