The European maritime technology industry is an important sector in terms of employment, directly providing more than 500 000 jobs. Shipyards and firms manufacturing marine equipment make a significant contribution to the economic development of the regions where they are located, and across the entire supply chain, which is particularly important to SMEs. Each direct job in a European shipyard means, on average, seven jobs created in the region.
The Committee points out that despite it promising opportunities, the on-going crisis means that ship owners and SMRC shipyards are facing financing bottlenecks making business conditions difficult for companies and ever greater competition from third countries. SMRC sub-sector should work closely with the maritime value chain with the aim of raising its profile and obtaining support from the EU, the Member States and regions.
The Mediterranean Sea accounts for over 70% of the world's nautical tourism, which creates very significant spillover benefits for its coastal countries. This form of tourism is hampered by differing national laws in areas such as the registration of recreational craft, navigation licences and safety and tax measures, to mention the most important.
The EESC is of the opinion that the proposal for a regulation on ship recycling is a rather pale reflection of the previous green paper and the communication on the same subject. The two previous documents provided an impeccable analysis of ship recycling problems in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and expressed the view that robust measures were needed to tackle the unacceptable conditions in these countries. The measures proposed in the proposal for a regulation do not however solve these problems. The EESC can only conclude that the political will is manifestly absent.
In the framework of this opinion a hearing (European Shipbuilding Industry - State aid and more) was organized in Gdansk, Poland, on 29 April 2010.
In the framework of this opinion a hearing (The European shipbuilding industry - dealing with the current crisis) was organized in Vigo, Spain on 1st December 2009.