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Opatija Declaration will provide guidelines for the development of EU maritime policy by 2030

Met dank overgenomen van Kroatisch voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2020 (Kroatisch voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op woensdag 11 maart 2020.

At the informal meeting in Opatija, transport ministers addressed the topic of maritime affairs and adopted so-called Opatija Declaration. The meeting was chaired by Oleg Butković, Croatian minister of the sea, transport and infrastructure and tended by Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport.

The informal meeting was an opportunity to continue the debate on policies aimed at achieving ambitious environmental goals while maintaining the competitiveness of European maritime affairs.

Opatija Declaration

At the meeting, the so-called Opatija Declaration was adopted. It will provide guidelines for the Member States for the development of maritime policy by 2030 in the context of the protection of the marine environment, with a focus on supporting the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships and further digitization in maritime and inland navigation.

The Declaration is based on five key points:

  • environmental protection,
  • digitization,
  • human resources,
  • security and competitiveness.

"These key chapters reflect the current situation when it comes to the challenges of maritime and inland navigation both within the European Union and globally."

Oleg Butković, Minister of the sea, transport and infrastructure of Croatia

Commissioner Vălean congratulated on a successful event which tackled currently very important topics for maritime sector. „Sustainability of the sector and its global nature, digitalisation and automation, emissions reduction whilst retaining the competitiveness, future of seafaring and further investments in education of seafarers that will allow them to respond to future challenges are on top of our priorities”. She added that Opatija Declaration will open a floor for discussion on further Commission’s initiatives.

COVID-19 Epidemic has significant impact on transport

An important topic that was also part of the discussion was the situation regarding the COVID-19 Epidemic. Ministers agreed that the current situation has a significant impact on whole sector and industry. The Ministers concluded that it is necessary to stand in solidarity with the affected member states and work together in order to find the best solution.


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