EU waterborne transport sector will shape a coordinated action towards zero-emission waterborne transport

Mon, 10/28/2019 - 10:51

SEA Europe has been receiving reliable indications that on 24 October 2019, the European Commission and Member States approved in principle the establishment of a co-programmed partnership zero-emission waterborne transport in the framework of the EU’s future research and innovation programme Horizon Europe. This partnership will allow the European waterborne transport sector to develop knowledge, technologies and solutions that will enable zero-emission shipping for all ship types and ship services.

The partnership will allow the European waterborne transport sector to implement its vision for a European strategy on achieving zero-emission waterborne transport, in line with the IMO Strategy for Greenhouse Gas reduction, as well as the EU’s “A Clean Planet for All” and the Green Deal for the EU.

The partnership will be essential to co-finance the significant investments in research, development and innovation from the European waterborne transport sector to deliver on its environmental and climate targets, as expected by politicians and society and asked for by the youngsters demonstrating in the streets.

The partnership will also allow the European waterborne transport sector to maintain and enhance its global technological and innovative leadership.

In a first reaction, SEA Europe’s Secretary General, Christophe Tytgat, said:

“The only suitable way to accelerate the European waterborne transport sector in its ambition to deliver on zero-emission waterborne transport, is a coordinated action. A partnership is an essential tool to jointly set the next steps towards a de-fossilised waterborne transport sector. Due to the complex international structures, diverse regulatory frameworks (international, national, European) number of authorities involved, as well as number of actors needed (like the 300 shipyards and 22.000 maritime equipment manufacturers in Europe), coordination of all actions needed is a top priority, says Christophe Tytgat.

We understand also that to make effective and efficient use of the partnership, the European waterborne transport sector as a whole will have to step-up, take its responsibility in getting organized to deliver what is now expected by the Institutions and in the end by the society, Mr Tygat said.

In addition, the approval of the partnership shows an essential change compared to the past. The fact that both Member States and the European Commission Services have granted this important tool to the sector, shows that the EU is (re)convinced about the strategic importance of the waterborne transport sector as well as the role of Europe’s maritime technology sector as a solution provider for major societal challenges. The partnership is one of the tools needed to be able to ensure that Europe keeps its frontrunners position regarding environmental technologies compared with other regions in the world. It will thereby boost Europe’s global maritime competitiveness and innovative leadership”, Mr Tytgat concluded.

Background Note:  SEA Europe represents close to 100% of the European shipbuilding industry in 16 nations, encompassing the production, maintenance, repair and conversion of all types of ships and floating structures, commercial as well as naval, including the full supply chain with the various producers of maritime systems, equipment material, and services.

For further information please visit or contact:
Christophe Tytgat, Secretary General,

Original press release attached.