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EU may draw up port competition guidelines

[ May 14, 2012   //   ]

EU Transport Commissioner  Siim Kallas says that he planned to draw up guidelines for the relations between port authorities and service providers, specifically where a port authority fulfills both roles and where state aid is involved.

In a speech on 11 May in Sopot, Poland, at a conference on sea ports, Kallas added that this dual role can lead to conflicts of interest and hinder the entry of independent operators. “The different roles and responsibilities of the two sides should now be properly defined – and the rules clarified and simplified,” he said.

He also said that concessions in some European ports “not always awarded in a non-discriminatory, objective or transparent way”. A directive is currently being adopted on concessions and the commissioner said that it was “not yet clear whether complementary rules would be needed for ports” – all questions that would be addressed in a consultation of stakeholders just launched by the Commission. Legislative proposals are expected in spring 2013.

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