In 2017, the EESC organised a hearing and adopted a report on the LeaderSHIP 2020 Strategy as regards the maritime technology sector in Europe. This exercise was aimed at paving the way for the adoption of a new LeaderSHIP Strategy beyond 2020. Unfortunately, this strategy was not adopted.
Meanwhile, competitive distortions from Asia have continued or increased. With Covid-19, the situation has become even worse, to the extent that the existence of the remaining shipbuilding yards in Europe are in danger, at a time when the sector can – and is willing to – play a key role in making waterborne transport a zero-emission (and digital) mode of transport, in line with the European Green Deal and other (recent) EU policies.
Without a dedicated industrial strategy for the maritime technology sector, there is no doubt that the EU will lose its remaining shipyards to Asia, with adverse effects for the entire supply chain, including maritime equipment manufacturers and shipowners.