Cyprus, Greece and Malta coordinate action to strengthen voice over shipping matters

Cyprus, Greece and Malta enhanced Friday their already close cooperation in shipping matters, at their 6th trilateral meeting, in Nicosia, aiming to strengthen their voice in the EU and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Natasa Pilides, Deputy Minister of Shipping of the Republic of Cyprus, chaired the meeting with her two counterparts, Greece’s Shipping and Island Policy Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis and Malta’s Minister for Transport Ian Borg, where they discussed, among others, competitiveness issues, labor relations, training and ways to reduce pollution.

Before the meeting, at the Presidential Palace, Ministers were received by the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.

The meeting was particularly constructive, said Pilides in her remarks. She also noted that the three countries together comprise the EU’s largest fleet and also have an important presence worldwide. According to the Deputy Minister, cooperation was therefore particularly important on a number of issues.

Pilides also said that they agreed during the meeting to enhance their cooperation, expecting positive results for all three countries involved, as well as for European and international shipping.

We discussed ways for our shipping to have a positive impact with regard to reducing pollution and in implementing best practices in this area, she said.

The Deputy Minister added that the three countries already play a significant role in relevant EU and IMO decisions.

Kouroumblis said that following his discussions, Thursday, with the Minister of Justice, they discussed today with his counterparts issues pertaining to the development of shipping. Environmental issues, competitiveness, labor relations and training are crucial issues for us all, he added.

He noted that apart from the transportation capacity, the sector also provides the EU with Euros 140 billion and creates 2.1 million directly or indirectly-linked jobs.

The Greek Minister said moreover that the EU should free itself from its fixation and bureaucratic approach and allow the sector to become more competitive against the Far East.

He said finally that the three countries will have more frequent meetings, adding that today we make a new start.

Ian Borg thanked the Cypriot Deputy Minister for the invitation and for hosting the 6th tripartite meeting, adding that it is up to legislators to keep working in order to have this industry moving forward.

The Maltese Minister also noted that challenges can be turned to opportunities with the sector’s decarbonization and digitization, making thus use of the latest technologies while cutting red tape.

Borg also conveyed the expectation that the European Commission will review relevant legislation, addressing the administrative burden put in the past by some directives.

This is important also in order to maintain Europe’s competitiveness in this global industry, he said, noting finally that this an international sector and therefore Europeans need to keep up their competitiveness with other global players.

Source: Cyprus News Agency