Confirm the exemption regime for connections subject to public service obligations and for those with smaller islands and reject those amendments which, on the contrary, would jeopardize, if accepted, a constitutionally guaranteed principle such as that of territorial continuity.
This is one of the main requests of Assarmatori, one of Conftrasporto-Confcommercio associations, which brings together numerous Italian shipping companies, including those active in these services, and some of the world’s leading operators in every sector of maritime transport. Next Wednesday the EU Parliament will meet in plenary session in Strasbourg to vote on the negotiating position on the Fuel EU Maritime proposal, included in the Fit for 55 package. On this occasion, a decision will be taken on the basis of an agreement already reached within the Transport and Tourism Commission which, although not entirely satisfying the Association’s request, represents an important step forward for the protection of island connections, local mobility and the closely linked tourism industry .
“In addition to providing for such important exemptions, which we hope to strengthen and extend to all the islands during subsequent negotiations in view of the approval of the final text of the Regulation, together with the correction of some remaining critical issues” , explains Assarmatori President Stefano Messina. “The agreement reached in the Commission also provides important elements as regards the liability profile of the penalties envisaged by the proposal itself. Shipping companies, in fact, would not be called to account for violations if, having been adequately equipped to draw energy from land with cold ironing, this was not possible due to lack or malfunction of infrastructures. Similarly, if alternative fuels were not available, the liability for the payment of penalties would fall on the fuel supplier, with whom the shipowner had a defaulting contract. A logical reasoning, that needs to be confirmed by the Parliament, entails a rejection of those amendments that would jeopardize territorial continuity”.
“As mentioned, despite the progress made, some critical elements remain”, Messina concludes, “which will have to be addressed and solved in the following stages of the negotiation. Nevertheless, on Wednesday, an important game is already underway and we hope that the European parliamentarians, starting from the Italian ones, will be able to grasp the significance of these measures, confirming the agreement reached in the Commission. In this regard, it has to be underlined that some deputies, who should be thanked, have hardly worked to protect these services and the specific nature of our nation”.