Fair Shipping for Europe

Our campaign for a European maritime space free of social dumping

The Fair Shipping Campaign is an integral part of the Fair Transport Europe Campaign. It strives for the creation of a European maritime space without social dumping, where fair employment conditions for all crew would apply. 

What do we mean by social dumping in maritime transport? Working conditions for crews are determined by the country where a ship is registered and whose flag the ship is flying. This means that many ships trading in EU waters do not have the obligation to respect EU legislation regarding labour rights and conditions, because they fly the flag of a non-EU country. This can be the case even when ships are owned by European companies, including those who benefit from state aid schemes such as tonnage tax. Such companies are often trying to reduce costs, but this leaves European seafarers exposed to unfair competition from seafarers outside Europe in a way that workers on land are not. Even European seafarers who do find work in the sector may not enjoy the same rights as European shore-based workers. 

The Fair Shipping Campaign aims to put a stop to this unjust situation by promoting the development of a European Maritime Space. This reform would bring the maritime sector in line with on-land businesses, meaning that all shipping services operating in EU waters would have to follow EU and/or member state legislation. This would offer fair employment conditions for all crew, regardless of their nationality or place of residence, and protect EU seafarers from unfair competition on the basis of cost and low standards. 

Latest news

News September 28, 2022

Thousands of fisheries’ jobs at risk due to the bottom-trawling ban

The European Commission’s intention to drastically reduce – even ban – bottom-contacting fishing gears is no secret. But the implications of such a decision are often disregarded. The ETF favours more sustainable fisheries, as fishers – the true guardians of the sea – are fully aware that the sustainability of fish stocks and the marine ecosystem is vital in preserving their income and jobs.

Press Release February 3, 2022

SOS call to preserve coastal fishing communities in the Mediterranean Sea

Yesterday, during Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries meeting, the Social Partners – ETF, Europêche and Copa-Cogeca – adopted a joint resolution on the situation of fisheries in the Mediterranean. The sector representatives seized the opportunity to call upon the European Commission to propose balanced measures that secure a future for fishermen, coastal communities and fishing resources alike in the Mediterranean Sea.