Potential of EU's maritime sector also lies with its incredible heritage

Written by Tonino Picula on 18 May 2016 in Opinion

We must not forget the deep-rooted heritage of Europe's maritime sector, writes Tonino Picula.

In its efforts to remain the world's number one economy, the EU should not forget to also remain a leader in terms of environmental and climate protection. Europe should balance its ongoing quest for economic growth with pursuing high-class technological solutions.

The potential of Europe's maritime industry and its related sector does not only lie with its modern trade fleet and specialised shipyards, but also with its incredible, millennia-long heritage.

Sustainability should not be limited to balancing growth without endangering the future, it should also be about how we integrate our tangible and intangible heritage, which is deeply rooted in many local communities.


Contemporary civilisation, in its continual pursuit of economic growth, has not left a single spot on earth untouched - not least the Mediterranean. Old crafts and trades are slowly being forgotten. Memories of times when we looked to nature for advice, when it was valued and respected, have gone.

Today, we pay respect to nature by visiting certain carefully selected and partially protected tourist and recreational destinations and looking around national parked and nature reserves - strictly bounded and usually sterile areas, in which we observe without really living.

We must not forget that the true strength of Europe's economy depends not so much on large investments and imports, but rather on dynamic and numerous SMEs.

This is particularly true for the maritime sector, with the added benefit that investing in small traditional shipyards and boat owners helps preserve maritime heritage and strengthen the cohesion of small communities.


About the author

Tonino Picula (S&D, HR) is a member of Parliament's seas and coastal areas intergroup

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.


Share this page



Related Partner Content

How can lightweight materials such as aluminium help the EU meet its CO2 emissions reduction targets?
18 April 2017

EU legislation needs to recognise the advantages lightweight materials can offer in reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles, write Patrik Ragnarsson and Dieter Höll.

Autogas is the ideal bridging fuel for sustainable EU road transport
8 November 2017

But policy incentives to take account of its environmental benefits are needed for the market to accelerate, argues Trevor Morgan.

A shift to lightweighting demands heavyweight political support
17 April 2018

Lighter vehicles offer the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions from all vehicles. However, continuing to focus on a mass-based approach is an opportunity lost, writes Patrik Ragnarsson.