How to rejuvenate EU-based maritime employment? ETF seminar aims to draw up a social agenda to ensure a future for EU seafarers

20 Oct 2015

On Wednesday 21 October 2015, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) organises in cooperation with the S&D Group a seminar addressing the urgent need to promote the recruitment and retention of skilled European based seafarers. The event, attended by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and representatives from the European Institutions, workers’ organisations and the World Maritime University, aims to draw up a social agenda to make European shipping a sector that provides EU-based maritime employment and know-how.

Co-hosted by MEPs Lucy Anderson and Isabelle Thomas, the seminar called “Ensuring a future for European seafarers” addresses the employment prospects in shipping for (young) Europeans and aims to define the required (regulatory) responses to end social dumping in shipping.

Even though the sector has retained its profitability and growth potential despite the economic crisis, European shipping is not creating seafaring jobs in the EU. Due to many unresolved challenges faced by European seafarers, among others the continuing replacement of European officers and ratings with low cost crew from outside Europe, the sector risks losing the capacity to safely operate and maintain a vibrant merchant shipping fleet.

Philippe Alfonso, ETF Political Secretary for Maritime Transport explains: “Transport Commissioner Bulc intends to make 2017 the year of maritime transport. Ahead of 2017 and while the ‘EU maritime transport policy until 2020’ is being reviewed by the Commission, European seafarers need the full support from EU policy makers to promote the European shipping’s social dimension. With this seminar we aim to outline a social agenda thereby providing them with key elements to achieve quality shipping in the EU.”

The seminar takes place on Wednesday 21 October 2015 from 3.00 to 6.30 pm at the European Parliament – room JAN 4Q2. Among the confirmed speakers are MEPs I. Thomas, L. Anderson, I. Ertug and G. Balas, representatives from the ETF and maritime unions, seafarers from Condor Ferries, French MP Arnaud Leroy and DG MOVE acting Deputy Director-General Fotis Karamitsos.

The seminar agenda and poster which is available in English and French can be found under Related documents.

  • To register for the seminar, please contact, +32 (0)2 285 46 60
  • For more information, please contact Philippe Alfonso, ETF Political Secretary for Maritime Transport, e-mail, mobile +32 496 65 79 15