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EU elections could kick-start deadlocked port initiative

A new EU Parliament following the election in May, along with the introduction of a new EU Commission in late 2014, could open the door to a fresh start on the process to liberalize European ports.

Photo: APM Terminals

The decision of the EU Parliament's Transport Commission to suspend the protracted negotiations aimed at liberalizing European ports - including an increased degree of financial transparency in transactions between the ports and individual member states, along with a modernization of state subsidy rules for ports - could kick the doors wide open for a new beginning to the negotiations in late 2014, says the EU Commission after the Parliament's Transport Commission on March 13. informed EU Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, that there was no longer sufficient support to bring the proposal to a vote before the Parliamentary elections in May.

And the commission's rapporteur on the proposal, Knut Fleckenstein, has pointed out - at a meeting with port and carrier stake-holders - that the proposal, following more than 500 suggested changes, has been so watered down that the continued work is now deadlocked.

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