June 25th is the International Day of the Seafarer. Today everyone should be reminded of the strenuous efforts of over 1.6 million seafarers, men and women at sea in Europe and all around the world.
Every year, European shipping contributes around €149 billion to the EU’s GDP and 2 million jobs. 76% of the EU’s external trade in goods and 32% of its internal transport of goods is carried by ships. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European shipping industry has been working even harder to ensure that vital goods such as food and medical supplies, as well as energy supplies and the transport services continue to be delivered to millions of EU citizens. All of this was largely due to seafarers and as Kitack Lim – IMO Secretary General – mentioned: “seafarers have always been at the heart of world trade and their work touches the lives of each and every one of us”.
ECSA encourages European governments to recognise seafarers as key workers and advocates for fair working and living conditions during and after the pandemic; suitably qualified and trained seafarers are essential to achieving safe, secure, environmentally sound and efficient shipping as well as attractive and inclusive careers in the maritime sector.
Today, ECSA is addressing the seafarers through a video campaign to let them know about the many concrete actions that European shipowners are carrying out – in collaboration with ETF and thanks to EU funding – to contribute to an attractive, smart and sustainable working environment in the EU shipping sector.
Ms. Adina Vălean (European Commissioner for Transport), Mr. Claes Berglund (ECSA President), Mr. Martin Dorsman (ECSA Secretary General), Mr. Tim Springett (ECSA Social Affairs Committee Chair), Ms. Melanie White (member of WESS pillar 2 Steering Project) and Ms. Rosella Marasco (ECSA Director Social and Legal Affairs) are the protagonists of our videos.
Please help us spread our message about a fairer future for seafarers by using the hashtag #SeaFairerFuture.