The Task Force on maritime employment and competitiveness set up by Vice-President Kallas has delivered its report containing recommendations for possible future measures for the shipping industry.


The Task Force examined the legal framework and analysed the factors turning EU seafarers away from the profession as well as the incentives for employers to recruit EU seafarers.

The lack of available reliable data on seafarers has been an obstacle faced by the Task Force. However, the trends on the increase in the recruitment of non EU seafarers for international voyages, especially at the expense of EU ratings, clearly emerged. Despite recent improvements in some Member States, European officer recruitment and retention remains problematic.

In its report, the Task Force provides recommendations on topics such as the regulatory framework, ranging from recruitment, training, career paths, working and living conditions on board including access to new technologies, legal and administrative treatment of seafarers, the piracy threat, state aid and employment.

Way Forward

The report from the taskforce feeds into the Commission’s work on the social agenda for maritime transport, with several actions planned from this summer onwards.


In its Communication on the EU maritime transport policy until 2018, the Commission had defined the strategic goals for the European maritime transport sector up to 2018 and decided on the creation of a Task Force entrusted with the mission of identifying ways to combine the competitiveness of the European fleet with social consideration for the EU seafarers.

In a context of global shortage of seafarers regularly underlined by various studies, the underlying principle was to renew the reflections on the attractiveness of the maritime professions by resorting to independent experts.

The Task Force was conceived as a think tank with 12 members and chaired by Sir Robert Coleman, former Director General for Transport at the European Commission.


Source – European Commission.

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