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Rotterdam opens dispute about state aid at Europe's major ports

Europe's largest port, Rotterdam, is demanding full transparency in the state aid for competing ports such as Antwerp and Hamburg, after the EU Parliament recently passed a port package which has been in the works for 15 years.

Photo: APM TERMINALS

Europe's largest port in Rotterdam is pleased that the EU Parliament recently approved the future framework conditions for port financing, 15 years after the presentation of the first draft for a European regulation of port services. The discussion over state aid for Europe's three largest ports – in particular in Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg – could thus flare up again.

"The regulation on port services includes agreements about market access for port services and increased transparency in the seaports' financial arrangements. In the view of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, it is of crucial importance that we first achieve clarity regarding the scale of public financial support provided to Europe's different ports. After this, we need to formulate new guidelines for state aid that create a level playing field for European seaports in terms of financing," writes Port of Rotterdam Authority.

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