The ETF has developed a concept of a “European Maritime Space for Socially Sustainable Shipping” (EMS) with the support of academics and international researchers. The main rationale of the concept is that seafarers working in European waters should be treated in the same way as shore-based workers. Research shows that there is nothing within the Treaty of the European Union or secondary legislation that prevents such equal treatment. Shipping companies benefitting from the freedom to provide goods and services within the Union should therefore also abide by EU social acquis regarding employment conditions for their workers. This needs to include a better framework for state aid to maritime transport in terms of quality training and job creation and in terms of enforcing and monitoring the related guidelines. We must make sure that shipowners benefiting from those aids ensure the best value for EU taxpayers’ money.