Top executives from European shipyards and European maritime equipment manufacturers have met with Karmenu Vella, the EU Commissioner responsible for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The meeting took place in Turku (Finland) as part of the annual European Maritime Days and was organised jointly by SEA Europe – the association representing the interests of European shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers – and its Finnish member – Finnish Maritime Industries.

The meeting focused on various topics of common interest, including the economic and strategic importance of the European maritime technology industry for Europe, its economy and globally; the challenges and threats of the European maritime technology sector and the means to stay ahead of global competition.

Attention was also drawn to the contribution of the European maritime technology sector to DG MARE’s plans for international ocean governance and reference was made to the EU’s plans to recycle ships in accordance with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation and the role that European ship recycling facilities could play. Also the possible contribution of European shipyards to a circular economy, i.e. building environmental neutral ships, was referred to.

Finally, both Commissioner Vella and the industry’s top executives acknowledged the need for Europe to continue developing a highly skilled workforce. This allows the European maritime technology sector to stay ahead in terms of innovation and competition globally.

"The EU's blue economy is amongst the most competitive in the world while meeting some of the highest environmental standards”, said Commissioner Vella.

By Jake Frith