The Vice-President for the European Commission and responsible for transport, Estonian Siim Kallas, knows too well the importance of having an efficient sea route from his upbringing and roots in Estonia. His area of responsibility covers the very important shipping industry including anything from the large ocean-going container ships to small coasters, ports and suppliers of paint or screws. Not to mention piracy, pollution or just the mere fact of how to make sure the European shipping industry handles itself in future years in competition with emerging Asian and especially Chinese competitors.
There are many reasons why he thinks the EU must have a goal of maintaining and developing a strong commercial fleet – and all the ancillary industries making a living of the shipping companies. To Siim Kallas it is not exclusively an economic question.