Shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy, carrying around 90% of everything we need in our daily lives: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the computers we rely on.
The EU maritime transport sector employs around 230 000 people, and European shipping accounts for over 40 % of the world’s fleet. The EU has some of the world’s largest maritime clusters. However, all the ships that carry those goods and passengers depend on seafarers, a group of transport workers who face unique and sometimes even deadly working conditions.
The ETF Maritime section activities are coordinated to contribute to a solid European maritime transport industry directly. For us, a strong, sustainable maritime sector is an industry without social dumping and unfair competition, with decent and safe employment, high-quality training and certification standards, and an enabling environment for the recruitment and retention of European seafarers, including increased participation of female and young seafarers.
The Covid-19 pandemic had devastating effects on seafarers, exposed the structure and governance cracks of the shipping industry, and too many flag States have turned a blind eye to the plight of seafarers. Thus, for the period 2022 – 2027, we are committed to the following:
In line with our vision for the next five years, we focus our main activities on fighting for a fair and Sustainable Shipping sector, which places the seafarers at its core. A just transition in the EU maritime space can only be ensured by tackling social dumping and offering decent terms and working conditions for all crew, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence.
In a sector that needs to become greener, future-proofing careers for seafarers and maritime professionals is crucial. It is not just about ensuring better job perspectives and access to diversified skills and career paths but also helping seafarers to adapt to changing work environments and new technologies.
As expected, we continue to support the global campaign to eradicate flags of convenience and fight even stronger to improve European seafarers’ social rights.