This week, the European Federation of Inland Ports and its members gathered in Vienna for its General Assembly. The meeting was hosted by the Port of Vienna and the Association of Austrian Inland Ports, IGЦD. At this occasion the European inland ports elected a new President. Jean-Louis Jйrфme, CEO of the Port of Strasbourg, will be presiding EFIP for the next two years. EFIP’s members also welcomed Zeeland Seaports as a new EFIP member. In Vienna the European inland ports discussed the latest developments in European Transport policy. Of course the discussions on the TEN-T review and its budget stood high on EFIP’s agenda. EFIP believes it is time to put the European inland ports on the map. EFIP realises however that in order to guarantee delivery. EFIP’s members therefore decided to massively sign the declaration in support of the Connecting Europe Facility, that was launched last week by Commissioner Kallas. Members further discussed the latest state of play of the Danube Strategy and a strategy to improve the barge cargo handling between sea and inland ports. Finally EFIP held a first discussion on the Commission's plans as regards ports policy.
Jean-Louis Jйrфme elected as EFIP President
Jean-Louis Jйrфme has been leading the Port of Strasbourg for almost ten years. Mr Jйrфme is also Head of Service of Navigation in Strasbourg and Interregional director of VNF in Strasbourg. Moreover Mr Jйrфme is a French Commissioner at the Rhine Commission. He is a civil engineer who comes with a lengthy professional experience in transport and building infrastructure development works. Last year, Mr Jйrфme played an active role in bringing together the nine upper Rhine inland ports in view of a developing common TEN-T project.
“Over the last years, the European Federation of Inland Ports has attracted a lot of new members. Moreover, at different occasions, not at least in the TEN-T dossier, it has punched above its weight. I hope I can contribute in further strengthening EFIP’s role as active European Transport organisation in Brussels. The goals of the European Transport policy in terms of multimodality and sustainability go hand in hand with the role of inland ports in the transport chain. The challenge is now to raise our profile and claim our place in the European Transport market”, said Mr Jйrфme at the start of his mandate. Mr Jйrфme further thanked Roland Hoerner, his predecessor, for his work during the last two years.
The vice Presidents for the next two years are Roland Hoerner (outgoing President and CEO of the Port of Mannheim), Willy Robijns (Assistant Manager Waterwegen en Zeekanaal), Carmen Costache (President of Romanian Inland Ports Union) and Rainier Reekmans (Commercial Director of the Port of Brussels).
Zeeland Seaports joins EFIP
At its General Assembly, EFIP officially endorsed the membership of Zeeland Seaports, the port authority governing the Dutch seaports of Terneuzen en Vlissingen.
“Zeeland seaports is a perfect example of a “two in one” port. It combines its important seaport function with a real inland port function. The inland waterway throughput is almost as high as the maritime throughput. Moreover almost half of the maritime volumes are going by barge to the hinterland. It is without saying that Zeeland seaports is an important player in the inland port sector. We very much welcome them as new member”, said Isabelle Ryckbost, EFIP’s Director.
“With this membership we hope to promote the inland port function of Zeeland seaports more than we did over the past years. Due to the increasing flow of goods in the last years and the expected growth in the coming years, the importance of the efficent use of the logistic modalities to and from the hinterland are essential”, says Hans van der Hart, CEO of Zeeland seaports. “In addition, the network function of EFIP and the unique voice of the inland port function in Europe is a major added value in promoting our ports. We are looking forward to a pleasant and constructive cooperation.”