Maritime leaders call for smart, safe and sustainable shipping
The sixth trilateral summit between the three leading maritime nations of the EU – Cyprus, Greece and Malta – took place in Nicosia on Friday, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Natassa Pilidou, while the Greek delegation was headed by the Minister of Shipping Dr Panagiotis Kourouplis and Malta’s delegation was headed by the country’s Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Works Dr. Ian Borg.
The trilateral meetings take place on an annual basis to discuss and exchange views on current issues of mutual interest in shipping.
Among other things, issues related to the long-term competitiveness of European shipping industries in world markets and the adoption of best practices on environmental protection were on the agenda.
The three ministers agreed that maritime transport in general is facing major challenges and that additional actions are needed to maintain and further develop an attractive, smart, safe and sustainable shipping.
The three officials, within the summit’s framework, also met with President Nicos Anastasiades who welcomed the convergence of such meetings, noting that they are very useful for the wider maritime sector which is of grave importance for the Cypriot economy.
After the meeting with President Anastasiades, the three ministers gave a joint press conference.
“Europe should understand that shipping not only enhances their status but brings in more than EUR 140 billion and 2.1 million direct and indirect jobs,” said Kourouplis at the joint press conference.
On her part, Deputy Minister Pilidou said discussed how the three countries can have that they a positive impact on the reduction of pollution in shipping and the implementation of best practices.
All three ministers said red tape continues to get in the way of many investments in the sector, while Malta’s Minister Borg also pointed out the need to promote the creation of jobs for Maltese, Cypriot and Greek nationals in shipping.
Meanwhile, in a meeting between the Greek Minister of Shipping and Island Policy and Cyprus Minister of Justice and Public Order Ionas Nikolaou signed a memorandum of understanding on the development of cooperation on issues related to the establishment and operation of the Coast Guard.
In comments made after their meeting, Nicolaou said that the government’s policy is to proceed with the establishment of a Coast Guard in Cyprus, which will assume all the responsibilities of the Maritime Police, as well as other additional responsibilities arising either from our laws or from international conventions, which are largely in line with the responsibilities of the Coast Guard in Greece.