On 11 January the European Parliament voted on port regulation, ending the 15 year long Port Package saga. ESPO has welcomed this final compromise, allowing Europe’s ports to anticipate many positive changes to come. A few in particular are: more flexibility of the organisation of port services to respect the diversity of European ports, more financial transparency in regards to public funding for ports, more realistic and general guidelines on dealing with stakeholder and port users (a change from the initially prescriptive provisions on customer and stakeholder relations), a more hands-on and less bureaucratic provision setting out a good mechanism for handling complaints, and the decision not to enlarge the scope of the directive on the award of concession contracts 2014/23/EU through this regulation.
However the majority of ports in Europe, unlike those in the UK, are largely state-owned and state-funded. Over the past five years, the UK ports industry has attracted over £2bn of private investment, helping to create 50,000 private-sector jobs.
This regulation will most likely be one of the first to be repealed upon completion of the Article 50 negotiation process.