During the 15th ESPO conference, the CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Mr Allard Castelein, called on the European Union to step up its investments in the infrastructure of ports and hinterland connections. This will further strengthen Europe’s economy and competitive position.
“A port is only as strong as its hinterland connections,” according to Mr Castelein. “Solid infrastructure connections to and from ports and port-industrial complexes are of crucial importance for European prosperity and employment.” That is why he called on the European Union to free up more financial resources for infrastructure investments in its upcoming long-term budget. One concrete programme the Port Authority CEO was referring to in this context is the expansion of the so-called Connecting European Facility (CEF) to include European energy transition projects. This will ensure that ports remain future-proof, healthy and competitive.
In addition, Mr Castelein drew attention to the challenges faced in the area of geopolitics, digitalisation and the energy transition. To realise the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, he called on ports to take their responsibility and show leadership. “Nevertheless, for a true, systemic change, we need to do more,” he noted. “In this major transition, we are completely dependent on each other. No organisation can realise the energy transition on its own. It requires us to all put sustainability high on the agenda. The need to make this energy transition is so urgent that in addition to collaboration and decisive action, we count on the EU and local authorities to offer generous support and constructive policies.”