Displaying items by tag: EU News

The Conference was organised by the Croatian EU Presidency and Industry4Europe, a coalition of over 150 industry associations promoting a strong EU industrial strategy. EBI is a longstanding member of the coalition and was a sponsor of the event held on 21 January in Brussels.

Several high-level speakers from the EU institutions spoke at the event:

  • Goran Štefanić, Deputy Permanent Representative of Croatia to the European Union
  • Darko Horvat, Croatian Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Craft
  • Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, MEP, Chair of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)
  • Lucie Studničná, President of the Consultative Commission for Industrial Change (CCMI) of the European Economic and Social Committee
  • Mario Antonić, State Secretary, Croatian Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts
  • Carlo Calenda, MEP, Member of the European Parliament Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)
  • Mr Gwenole Cozigou, Acting Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), European Commission

Key points addressed during the event were the role of European industry to implement the European Green Deal, the importance of small and medium-sized companies, and industry as backbone of the European economy. The EU should lead in innovation and developing the products, technologies & business models of the future.

Industry4Europe event

Following the European Commission’s presentation of the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan was presented. Its aim is to mobilise public investment and unlock private funds through EU financial instruments. This should have an overall value of at least €1 trillion. It is based on three dimensions:

  1. Financing: A greater share of spending on climate and environmental action from the EU budget to encourage private funding, which will be led by the European Investment Bank
  2. Enabling: providing incentives to unlock and redirect public and private investment through sustainable finance rules
  3. Practical support: The Commission will provide support to public authorities and project promoters in planning, designing and executing sustainable projects

The full proposal on the Sustainable Investment Plan can be found here. EBI will be working with the EU institutions to ensure that the recreational boating industry is supported in its transition towards sustainability and inform the sector about funding opportunities.

Based on the outcomes of projects funded under the European Cooperation Programme for the Mediterranean area (the Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020), a policy paper on the blue economy in the Mediterranean was published. This policy paper includes objectives and actions to promote the blue economy in the Mediterranean. While the focus is regional, the outcomes are equally applicable across Europe. Specific policy recommendations for three focal sectors were developed, namely yachting, marine renewable energy and maritime surveillance. The recommendations are addressed towards the EU institutions, international and intergovernmental organizations, Member States and regional authorities.

EBI was closely involved in the development of the policy paper and provided input on the challenges for the recreational boating sector in the Mediterranean, as well as across Europe. These and a number of EBI’s policy recommendations were successfully taken up and include among others:

  • Harmonisation of skipper licenses at EU level
  • Harmonisation of the regulatory framework at EU level for on-board staff employment, health and safety at work and other areas
  • Development of digital tools and procedures to reduce administrative burden
  • Promotion of environmental sustainability through circular economy, support by Member States and EU institutions for end-of-life boat policies
  • Public support by Member States and the EU for research on clean propulsion boats and use of renewable energy use in ports and marinas
  • Creation of educational pathways for qualifications and professions in the recreational boating industry

The paper also calls for support to the sector through economic development policies and to raise public awareness of the sectors’ strength, SME focus and potential for sustainable growth in the blue economy. This paper will be further promoted and brought to the attention of the EU institutions in the coming months. The full policy paper can be found here.

The projects under Interreg MED were iBlue, MAESTRALE, PELAGOS, PROteuS and 4Helix+.

Friday, 20 December 2019 08:04

Croatian EU presidency programme released

Croatian presidency programmeTaking over the Council Presidency from Finland in the first half of 2020, Croatia has released its official programme outlining its plans and priorities. It will be leading the Council of the EU until June. The programme announced by Croatia centres around the presidency’s four key priorities:

A Europe that develops

A Europe that connects

A Europe that protects

An influential Europe.

Among the policy areas that the Croatian presidency will take forward some of interest to the recreational boating industry. It will include a focus on fighting climate change and protecting the environment through policies such as circular economy, protection of the marine environment and protecting coastal areas from pollution. The presidency will also promote sustainable tourism and overall sustainability of coastal and island communities. Another area of its work will be to take a leading role on the international stage in fighting climate change.

Other relevant policy priorities are to strengthen European industry and SMEs, as well as targeted development of green technologies and innovation. Trade also features as a priority regarding the safeguarding of multilateral rule-based trade and a strengthening of EU-US relations.

The full programme can be found here. 

Friday, 20 December 2019 07:59

European Commission publishes European Green Deal

The European Commission published the European Green Deal, which is the flagship initiative of the European Commission to tackle climate change and environmental challenges. It is a roadmap to make EU's economy sustainable and addressing climate and environmental challenges.

The European Green Deal provides a roadmap with actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution. It also sets out the investments needed, as well as the tools to ensure a just and inclusive transition. It includes the outline of the future European Climate law, which will enshrine the ambition of being the world's first climate neutral continent by 2050. Other elements of the European Green Deal will also be presented by the Commission in the near future, such as the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the new Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan and proposals for pollution-free Europe.

While the exact impact and relevance for the recreational boating industry will become clearer in the coming months, some elements are foreseen that may be relevant

  • New EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, such as climate-proofing, building resilience and preparedness
  • Increasing uptake of the circular economy across sectors through circular design and increased use of recycled materials
  • Commercial application of new clean technologies, such as hydrogen, fuel cells and other alternative fuels
  • Promotion of inland waterways as means of transport
  • Increased engagement with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on climate change and environmental protection
  • Increasing coverage of sea areas by Natura 2000 network and support for more connected and well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs)
  • Support for a sustainable blue economy
  • Zero-pollution approach across all policy areasNew chemicals strategy aiming at sustainability, with protection against hazardous chemicals and promotion of alternatives
  • Financing through Sustainable European Investment Plan for additional funding needs

EBI will be engaging with the EU institutions to provide input to the actions laid out in the European Green Deal as a partner in tackling climate change and as a beneficiary of a clean environment and healthy oceans. The full European Green Deal can be found here.

A presentation of the European Green Deal from the European Commission will also take place at the International Breakfast Meeting (IBM) at boot Düsseldorf on 21 January. More information can be found here.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) released Europe’s state of the environment report for 2020. This is published by the EEA every five years since 1995 and is now in its 6th edition. The EEA is an official EU agency that provides independent information on the environment.

The 2020 report comes to the conclusion that European environment and climate policies have helped to improve the environment over recent decades, but progress is insufficient and the outlook for the environment in the coming decade is not positive. It analysed the achievement of meeting 2020 and 2030 policy targets, as well as longer term 2050 goals.

The report notes that Europe has already made significant progress over the past two decades in terms of climate change mitigation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Signs of progress are also evident in other areas, such as tackling air and water pollution and the introduction of new policies to tackle plastic waste and bolster climate change adaptation and the circular and bio-economy.

Overall environmental trends in Europe have however not improved since the last EEA state of the environment report in 2015. The assessment notes that while most of the 2020 targets will not be achieved, especially those on biodiversity, there is still a chance to meet the longer-term goals and objectives for 2030 and 2050. Recent trends highlight a slowing down of progress in areas such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, industrial emissions, waste generation, improving energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy. It concludes that the current rate of progress will not be enough to meet 2030 and 2050 climate and energy targets.

The report outlines seven key areas where bold action is needed to get Europe back on track to achieve its 2030 and 2050 goals and ambitions. These are:

  1. Realise potential of existing environmental policies through full implementation
  2. Embrace sustainability as the framework for policy making with binding targets
  3. Lead international action towards sustainability by using the EU’s diplomatic and economic influence to promote the adoption of ambitious international agreements
  4. Foster innovation throughout society
  5. Scale up investments and refocus the finance sector on sustainable projects and businesses
  6. Manage risks and ensure a socially fair transition to ensure sure no one is left behind
  7. Build more knowledge and know-how.

The full report can be found here, as well as the Executive Summary here.

A European Commission fitness check of the Water Framework Directive, the Floods Directive and the associated Directives concluded that they are fit for purpose with room for enhanced effectiveness. This means that no legislative changes are recommended, but focus will be on implementation. Despite improvements in the protection of water bodies, the evaluation points to insufficient level of implementation by Member States and by sectors with a heavy impact on water.

The results of the evaluation of the Water Framework Directive are mixed. On the one hand, it has been successful in setting up a governance framework for water management for water bodies in the EU, slowing down the deterioration of water status and reducing chemical pollution. On the other hand, implementation of the Directive has been significantly delayed. As a result, less than half of the EU’s water bodies are in good status, even though the deadline for achieving this was 2015.

The fact that the Directive’s objectives have not been fully reached is largely due to insufficient funding, slow implementation and insufficient integration of environmental objectives in sectoral policies, rather than deficiencies in the legislation. The insufficient level of implementation by Member States and by those sectors of the economy with an impact on water has come to the forefront across the evaluation and all Directives.

The fitness check also concluded that the Water Framework Directive is sufficiently flexible to accommodate emerging challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and pollutants of emerging concern (e.g. micro-plastics and pharmaceuticals). Chemicals is a key area where there is room to improve and to achieve better results.

The full fitness check can be found here and the Executive Summary here.

EBI 10 year anniversary   Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament)   1European Boating Industry (EBI), the voice of the recreational boating industry celebrated its 10-year anniversary in early November. Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and leaders of the European recreational boating sector gathered in Brussels for high-level discussions, setting a vision for the next decade. Strengthening the EU’s Single Market, de-escalating the EU-US trade war, harmonising qualifications, tackling environmental challenges and strengthening European industrial excellence are the key priorities.

The high-profile event celebrating the anniversary of the 2009 founding of the European Boating Industry (EBI) took place at the Representation of the Region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine to the EU. The recreational boating industry is central to the development of many maritime and coastal regions.

Opening the anniversary, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant remarked “Our anniversary is a great time to lookEBI 10 year anniversary   Jean Pierre Goudant (President, EBI)   1 back at EBI’s achievements and celebrate ten years of advocacy for our sector. It is also an opportunity to emphasise the importance of our sector as an economic actor for the EU. Our members, many of them SMEs, provide tens of thousands of jobs and are often the backbone of local communities and economies. As EBI, we will work to strengthen them and our sector through a truly European approach in close collaboration with the EU institutions and our stakeholders.

Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament) opened the event with an introductory statement highlighting the positive impact of the recreational boating industry in Europe and Italy, as well as its relevance for the EU institutions. Moderated by prominent journalist Jennifer Baker, the debate brought together Felix Leinemann (European Commission, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries), Mirna Cieniewicz (Groupe Beneteau), Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament), Sebastian Nietupski (POLBOAT) and Dr. Anne-Cécile Dragon (WWF European Policy Office).

Topics taking centre-stage were the de-escalation of the EU-US trade war harming the sector, strengthening the EU’s Single Market for the boating industry, harmonisation of qualifications to address skills and workforce shortages, the circular economy and the development of an environmentally friendly industry.

Following the event, EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “We are committed to strengthening our work with the EU institutions, EBI 10 year anniversary   Philip Easthill (Secretary General, EBI)   2our members and stakeholders in order to contribute to common challenges at European level. We look forward to advancing discussions around trade, environment, circular economy, skills and the Single Market in our second decade. Getting economic and environmental sustainability right is crucial for our sector to grow, provide jobs and further develop. Clean and healthy oceans and seas are the lifeblood of our industry.”

 Quotes from the panelists 

EBI 10 year anniversary   Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit, European Commission)   1Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit, European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) - “In the context of the European Green Deal, we will need to balance growth in nautical tourism with sustainability. I appreciate EBI’s commitment to work with the Commission on several sustainability elements: climate change, circular economy, respect for the environment, and especially our cooperation towards developing a European concept for the recycling of end-of-life recreational craft

 

Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament) – “The recreational boating industry is a key economic EBI 10 year anniversary   Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament)   1activity and employer for many regions across Europe, including the region of Liguria where I come from. Key for the industry is its export orientation where the EU has an overwhelmingly positive trade ratio. It is crucial for us as policy-makers to support this development and ensure that European companies can continue to grow by removing tariffs and trade barriers.”

 

EBI 10 year anniversary   Sebastian Nietupski (President, POLBOAT)   1Sebastian Nietupski (President, POLBOAT) - “One of the major challenges for our industry is that customers are getting older and younger generations have a different approach. As is happening with cars, bikes and houses, sharing is becoming the new norm and the same is true for boating. The sharing economy has the benefit to make boating even more accessible, but it forces producers to adapt their strategy in a new and wider way. A boat will not just be a boat - it will be a full-service package including financing and maintenance. This shift from product to service will be crucial for the EU to take into account when looking at its future industrial policy and extending the Single Market.

 

Mirna Cieniewicz (Director, Groupe Beneteau) - “Being sustainable is no longer a question, it is just about how to get there. EBI 10 year anniversary   Mirna Cieniewicz (Director, Groupe Beneteau)   1Life-cycle assessment, eco-design, advanced production processes and materials are all areas to be investigated. We need more of this together with the support from the EU institutions to ensure progress is made across all the Single Market for the boats and their equipment. Having contributed to the creation of European Boating Industry as first-ever Secretary-General ten years ago and now working for Europe’s largest boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau, I am delighted to participate in these discussions at a European level within EBI

 

EBI 10 year anniversary   Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament)   2Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament) - “The boating industry has a positive economic impact for Europe as I have clearly seen at the example of my own country Poland. As Member of the European Parliament, my vision for the coming years is to support and develop the boating industry and ensure it can thrive and grow across Europe. Ensuring coherence between sustainability and providing the basis for growth is the duty of the European Parliament and all EU institutions

 

Dr Anne-Cécile Dragon (Policy Officer, WWF EU) - “The coming years are crucial to protect our ocean and the resource base on which aEBI 10 year anniversary   Dr Anne Cecile Dragon (Policy Officer, WWF EU)   2 sustainable Blue growth depends. Integrated maritime policies, sustainable financial and investment flows, as well as ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning are all important means to ensure an environmentally sustainable development of blue economy. WWF looks forward to working with the EU institutions and stakeholders, such as the European Boating Industry to make this a reality

The European Commission published recommendations by a group of experts, the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest, to boost Europe's competitiveness and global leadership in six strategic and future-oriented industrial sectors: Connected, clean and autonomous vehicles; Hydrogen technologies and systems; Smart health; Industrial Internet of Things; Low-carbon industry; and Cybersecurity.

Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) comprise innovative research projects that often entail significant risks and require joint, well-coordinated efforts and transnational investments by public authorities and industries from several Member States. The aim is to invest jointly in Europe's industrial strengths and assets to generate jobs and growth across sectors and regions and strengthen the EU’s role on the global stage. In addition to recommendations specific to each of the value chains, the report also identifies horizontal enabling actions:

  • Pooling public and private resources at EU, national and regional levels, which the EU should coordinate, targeting industrial deployment and the commercialisation of new technologies
  • Deepening and integrating the single market through regulations and new standards
  • Mapping and developing the skills needed across the value chains
  • Making innovation systems in Europe more dynamic, with a focus on regional strengths and public-private partnerships
  • Setting a governance process to monitor technological and industrial changes, identify emerging strategic value chains and evaluate the progress of work on these value chains

The report is part of the Juncker Commission's efforts to strengthen Europe's industrial base and will contribute to the next Commission's work on a new long-term strategy for Europe's industrial future.
For more on this initiative, please see the factsheet and the full report.

European Boating Industry (EBI), the voice of the recreational boating industry celebrated its 10-year anniversary in early November. Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and leaders of the European recreational boating sector gathered in Brussels for high-level discussions, setting a vision for the next decade. Strengthening the EU’s Single Market, de-escalating the EU-US trade war, harmonising qualifications, tackling environmental challenges and strengthening European industrial excellence are the key priorities.

The high-profile event celebrating the anniversary of the 2009 founding of the European Boating Industry (EBI) took place at the Representation of the Region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine to the EU. The recreational boating industry is central to the development of many maritime and coastal regions.

Opening the anniversary, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant remarked “Our anniversary is a great time to lookEBI 10 year anniversary   Jean Pierre Goudant (President, EBI)   1 back at EBI’s achievements and celebrate ten years of advocacy for our sector. It is also an opportunity to emphasise the importance of our sector as an economic actor for the EU. Our members, many of them SMEs, provide tens of thousands of jobs and are often the backbone of local communities and economies. As EBI, we will work to strengthen them and our sector through a truly European approach in close collaboration with the EU institutions and our stakeholders.

Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament) opened the event with an introductory statement highlighting the positive impact of the recreational boating industry in Europe and Italy, as well as its relevance for the EU institutions. Moderated by prominent journalist Jennifer Baker, the debate brought together Felix Leinemann (European Commission, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries), Mirna Cieniewicz (Groupe Beneteau), Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament), Sebastian Nietupski (POLBOAT) and Dr. Anne-Cécile Dragon (WWF European Policy Office).

Topics taking centre-stage were the de-escalation of the EU-US trade war harming the sector, strengthening the EU’s Single Market for the boating industry, harmonisation of qualifications to address skills and workforce shortages, the circular economy and the development of an environmentally friendly industry.

Following the event, EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “We are committed to strengthening our work with the EU institutions, EBI 10 year anniversary   Philip Easthill (Secretary General, EBI)   2our members and stakeholders in order to contribute to common challenges at European level. We look forward to advancing discussions around trade, environment, circular economy, skills and the Single Market in our second decade. Getting economic and environmental sustainability right is crucial for our sector to grow, provide jobs and further develop. Clean and healthy oceans and seas are the lifeblood of our industry.”

 Quotes from the panelists 

EBI 10 year anniversary   Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit, European Commission)   1Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit, European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) - “In the context of the European Green Deal, we will need to balance growth in nautical tourism with sustainability. I appreciate EBI’s commitment to work with the Commission on several sustainability elements: climate change, circular economy, respect for the environment, and especially our cooperation towards developing a European concept for the recycling of end-of-life recreational craft

 

Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament) – “The recreational boating industry is a key economic EBI 10 year anniversary   Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament)   1activity and employer for many regions across Europe, including the region of Liguria where I come from. Key for the industry is its export orientation where the EU has an overwhelmingly positive trade ratio. It is crucial for us as policy-makers to support this development and ensure that European companies can continue to grow by removing tariffs and trade barriers.”

 

EBI 10 year anniversary   Sebastian Nietupski (President, POLBOAT)   1Sebastian Nietupski (President, POLBOAT) - “One of the major challenges for our industry is that customers are getting older and younger generations have a different approach. As is happening with cars, bikes and houses, sharing is becoming the new norm and the same is true for boating. The sharing economy has the benefit to make boating even more accessible, but it forces producers to adapt their strategy in a new and wider way. A boat will not just be a boat - it will be a full-service package including financing and maintenance. This shift from product to service will be crucial for the EU to take into account when looking at its future industrial policy and extending the Single Market.

 

Mirna Cieniewicz (Director, Groupe Beneteau) - “Being sustainable is no longer a question, it is just about how to get there. EBI 10 year anniversary   Mirna Cieniewicz (Director, Groupe Beneteau)   1Life-cycle assessment, eco-design, advanced production processes and materials are all areas to be investigated. We need more of this together with the support from the EU institutions to ensure progress is made across all the Single Market for the boats and their equipment. Having contributed to the creation of European Boating Industry as first-ever Secretary-General ten years ago and now working for Europe’s largest boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau, I am delighted to participate in these discussions at a European level within EBI

 

EBI 10 year anniversary   Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament)   2Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament) - “The boating industry has a positive economic impact for Europe as I have clearly seen at the example of my own country Poland. As Member of the European Parliament, my vision for the coming years is to support and develop the boating industry and ensure it can thrive and grow across Europe. Ensuring coherence between sustainability and providing the basis for growth is the duty of the European Parliament and all EU institutions

 

Dr Anne-Cécile Dragon (Policy Officer, WWF EU) - “The coming years are crucial to protect our ocean and the resource base on which aEBI 10 year anniversary   Dr Anne Cecile Dragon (Policy Officer, WWF EU)   2 sustainable Blue growth depends. Integrated maritime policies, sustainable financial and investment flows, as well as ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning are all important means to ensure an environmentally sustainable development of blue economy. WWF looks forward to working with the EU institutions and stakeholders, such as the European Boating Industry to make this a reality

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