Maltese EU Presidency receptive to ETF priorities

7 Feb 2017

At a meeting today with the Maltese Transport Minister Joe Mizzi ETF General Secretary Eduardo Chagas exchanged views on the priorities for European transport. Minister Mizzi presented the priorities of the Maltese Presidency, which will run until 30 June 2017, and expressed support for the ETF campaign for fair transport in Europe.

Eduardo Chagas commented after the meeting: “The Minister was very supportive when we presented our concerns and key issues to be addressed in European transport. We covered many dossiers ETF is currently dealing with and in particular our aims with the ETF Campaign to ensure Fair Transport in Europe, which he explicitly endorsed.”

Among other topics the delegation raised the issue of socio-economic, social and safety implications of the employment conditions defined in the current revision of the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) basic regulation as well as the attempt to limit the right to strike in air traffic management. In view of the announced road package ETF emphasised this opportunity should not be missed to address many social problems identified in this sector. The delegation made reference to the Posting of Workers’ Directive, the Working Time Directive for the Road sector, and the regulation on the access to occupation, in other words the continuing practice of setting up letterbox companies in road transport. The need for a swift conclusion of the negotiations on the harmonisation of professional qualifications and to ensure access to social security for all crewmembers in the inland waterways and river cruise sector were highlighted as well as the plea for the introduction of the digital tachograph combined with adequate controlling resources.

Eduardo Chagas expressed hope that Minister Mizzi, a former seafarer, is sensitive to the ETF priorities and especially those identified for the maritime sector: “There exists a dire need for active measures that promote the employment of EU seafarers, including the link with State Aid Guidelines, and to remove barriers in the Schengen visa code in view of granting seafarers access to shore leave. We also made reference to the negotiations on the deregulation of maritime services in third countries. I expect a clear commitment from the Maltese Presidency, and in particular from Minister Mizzi, to make significant progress in the coming months with the burning issues we have been addressing over the last years.”

ETF General Secretary has invited Minister Mizzi to the ETF 2017 Congress on 23-25 May in Barcelona, Spain. The Minister from his side offered Eduardo Chagas the opportunity to address the Ministerial Maritime Conference on 28 March in Malta where he will reiterate his messages expressed today at the meeting.

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