The CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority Allard Castelein has called on the EU to step up its investments in the infrastructure of ports and hinterland connections.
Castelein stated: “A port is only as strong as its hinterland connections. Solid infrastructure connections to and from ports and port-industrial complexes are of crucial importance for European prosperity and employment.”
In particular, he called for the expansion of the Connecting European Facility (CEF) to include European energy transition projects.
“This will ensure that ports remain future-proof, healthy and competitive,” noted a statement from the port authority.
The Dutch port’s CEO joined the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and 40 partner organisations, who made a likeminded call in Ljubljana.
CEF is part of the EU’s long-term budget, the so-called Multi-annual Financial Framework, with the new budget to run from 2021 until 2027.
Castelein also called on ports to take on more responsibility to realise the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement.
He stated: “For a true, systemic change, we need to do more. In this major transition, we are completely dependent on each other. No organisation can realise the energy transition on its own.
“It requires us to all put sustainability high on the agenda. The need to make this energy transition is so urgent that in addition to collaboration and decisive action, we count on the EU and local authorities to offer generous support and constructive policies.”