Giuliano Galanti starts new term of office at ESPO
Victor Schoenmakers elected as Vice-Chairman
Rotterdam, The Netherlands – The General Assembly of ESPO, which met in Brussels 2006-11-22, re-elected Giuliano Gallanti (Italy) as its Chairman for another term of office of two years.
In his statement during the ESPO Annual Luncheon which was held after the General Assembly meeting, Giuliano Gallanti said: “This is a great honour and a task to which I look forward with great anticipation. But it is also an important responsibility, given the reflection process that we have started with the European Commission and all stakeholders on the future policy for our seaports in Europe”.
The newly elected Chairman expressed his satisfaction over the consultation process initiated by Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot: “The open and frank debate we have had so far shows there is considerable goodwill to achieve results, even on tricky issues like port services and the role of port authorities, port financing, sustainable port development and social matters.” Mr. Gallanti said that the development of a meaningful European port policy was the first and foremost priority of his new mandate and expressed his commitment to the Commission to bring this exercise to a good end. At the same time he warned for engaging in a new legislative adventure: “A business sector generally performs much better when it is encouraged and stimulated, rather than being told what to do. The challenging task ahead is to clarify how the rules of the European Treaty apply to our industry without trying to establish a one size fits all policy”.
The ESPO Annual Luncheon, which was held for the third time at the Résidence Palace in Brussels, was attended by over 160 representatives of the European Parliament, Member States, the European Commission and European stakeholder organisations. Guest speaker was Paolo Costa, Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament. In his keynote speech, Mr. Costa said that "better services from ports are extremely needed in Europe, now and even more in the future. A greater quantity of goods will come and leave Europe by sea. We must be sure that a fair amount of competition between ports at each point in time and within each port through periodical competitive tendering will help in reducing transport costs in Europe."
The General Assembly of ESPO further elected Maria Nygren (Ports of Sweden) and Victor Schoenmakers (Port of Rotterdam) as Vice-Chairmen.