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04. December 2019


European Commission gets down to work

The new European Commission has begun its first working week. Danish Shipping is very pleased with the Commission’s ambitions to increase trade and innovation and take a stronger global leadership.

After the European Parliament approved the new Commission last Wednesday, the commissioners have begun their first working week.

The Commission has already presented a wide range of ambitions for the next five years, and with 27 commissioners the ambitions range far. Especially the Commission’s Green Deal, which will be published on 11 December, is highly anticipated.

“After a month’s delay, I’m very pleased that the new Commission can finally get to work. Many concrete tasks await the next five years, which also contain great possibilities for Danish shipping,” says Anne H. Steffensen, Director General and CEO of Danish Shipping.

Ambitious trade policy maintained

The new Trade Commissioner, Phil Hogan, has been given the task of strengthening Europe’s global leadership in trade. This entails, among other things, improving the trade cooperation between both the US and Africa as well as concluding ongoing negotiations, notably with Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement – a trade agreement between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – is to be accomplished.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has emphasised that EU will always fight for a level playing field on trade. Danish Shipping welcomes this position.

“It has a direct impact on Danish shipping companies that EU’s trade policy continues to open for new opportunities and increase the access to the rest of the world. In addition, it is a set assignment to restore a close dialogue with the US on trade,” says Anne H. Steffensen.

Global solution is necessary

One of the tasks of the new Transport Commissioner, Adina Vălean, is to play a leading role in negotiations on global emission reduction within UN’s International Maritime Organization, IMO. At the same time, Climate Commissioner, Frans Timmermans, has unfortunately proposed to include shipping in EU’s regional emission trading system.

“Shipping is a global industry. Therefore, it worries me that the new Transport Commissioner has already been given the task of contributing to the work on extending EU’s Emissions Trading System to the maritime sector. In this context it is important to act carefully, says Anne H. Steffensen and continues:

“If the Commission really wishes to reduce CO2 emissions from the shipping industry, it is necessary to have a global solution. Therefore, the leading role of Adina Vălean in the IMO is crucial.”

Massive investment

Education, research and innovation are furthermore mentioned as essential factors by the new Commission if the EU is to uphold its current competitive position. Danish Shipping is very pleased with this prioritisation.

“In order to develop climate neutral shipping, we have a huge challenge in developing the sustainable fuels which must drive the ships. Therefore, it is not only important for the reduction of CO2 emissions that the Commission intends to invest massively in research and development; it also helps to ensure that European shipping is competitive and is given the possibility of taking a leading position in the world,” says Anne H. Steffensen.