As a member of the Steering Group, the ETA was actively involved in the organisation of the European Shipping Week (“ESW”) which turned out to be a huge success.
The highest European Institutions were actively supportive and their high representatives, among whom Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, were attending the event and addressing the participants.
During the Flagship Conference final round table high level panel discussion on March 4th ETA Chairman Peter Vierstraete joined DFDS’ CEO Niels Smedegaard call on the European legislators to find ways to better assess potential effects on the shipping industry prior to regulatory initiatives. This should be done through consultation of the concerned stakeholders, he said. He also pleaded to keep in mind that shipping operators, including towage companies, act in a global market.
On Thursday 5th March, during a visit to the Port of Antwerp, facilitated by the Antwerp Port Authority, the participants, among whom several members of MEP cabinets, the European Commission and ETA members, were hosted in the BRABO/URS training centre.
Cpt Yves Beeckman gave a presentation on towage and the new ETA Guidelines for Safe Towage Operations which have been drafted by its Nautical Technical Committee and are published on this website.
Demonstrations on Brabo’s and URS’ powerful and recent simulators permitted the attendees to get a near realistic impression of the interaction between maritime pilots and tug crews and of the level of skills required and maintained through permanent training sessions.
The projection of the video “The Chain” created by the “European Nautical Platform”, further illustrated the role of all actors in the nautical chain, not the least of towage.
The port visit on board of the “Flandria 1” and the tour to the construction site of the world’s biggest lock (“Deurgancklock”) concluded this joint initiative of the Antwerp Port Authority, BRABO, EMPA, ETA, URS.
More news in detail on the whole ESW programme can be found at www.europeanshippingweek.com.