Europe's shipowners have elected a new Secretary General after Patrick Verhoeven opted to step down in May this year.
Going forward, the current Managing Director of the Dutch Shipowners' Association, Martin Dorsman, will be tasked with not least ensuring that the carriers' views are heard in the EU offices in Brussels, informs the European Community Shipowners' Association, ECSA, in a press release Tuesday.
“The Board recognizes his strong expertise and experience in the global shipping policy matters and appreciates the knowledge of the ECSA organisation he will bring with him. We would like to warmly welcome Mr. Dorsman onboard and look forward to the future cooperation with him”, says ECSA President Niels Smedegaard.
In a comment on the choice of new Secretary General, Danish Shipping's Director General, Anne H. Steffensen, tells ShippingWatch:
"I'm very pleased to see that we're getting such a skilled Secretary General. It's crucial to have the right person in place when bringing matters up at EU level. He enjoys great trust from members and in the sector in general. He also has ambitions of strengthening ECSA's visibility and communication," says Steffensen.
She points to four areas as particularly for the shipowners' European agenda in the time to come:
- The upcoming maritime strategy, which will be settled in 2018.
- Shipbreaking, where the shipowners are still waiting for the EU's complete list of approved facilities.
- Climate matters
- Trade policy.
Dorsman has extensive knowledge of the sector as well as experience from ECSA, where he has served in positions such as chairman for the shipping policies commission.
He will need all the experience, as the Secretary General needs to maintain contact and as well as support from the maritime hinterland, just as he needs an understanding of how to bring the maritime issues further up on the EU agenda.
The challenge related to the former concerns balancing the interests between North and South, especially, or Denmark and Greece, for instance, when communicating in one voice. As for the EU agenda, the challenge relates not least to the fact that the maritime sector generally comes after aviation, cars, and trains, which consumers and thus votes have more proximity to in their daily lives.
English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch