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ETF update: our priorities in a post-election Europe

25 June 2024

The EU parliamentary elections are over, and the UK general election is nearly upon us. What happens next at the European Transport Workers' Federation? The ETF's new head of maritime Josef Maurer takes a look

As reported recently in the Nautilus Telegraph, we produced a manifesto for the June 2024 European elections, and we will continue to campaign for the manifesto's goals now that the new European Parliament is in place.

In particular, we want to see the creation of a European Maritime Space where all crew working in European waters must be granted European terms and conditions and wages. This would apply to anyone working onboard vessels operating regularly between European ports – no matter what their nationality or place of residence, or what flag their vessel flies.

We also need to make sure that another case like P&O Ferries will not happen again. We were happy to see France take the lead on legislation to tackle this issue, and we are looking forward to similar action the UK and in other European countries.

Other important areas of work include fatigue, mental and physical health, harassment and bullying, diversity, inclusion and respect onboard and social protection for seafarers. Addressing these issues will help to increase the attractiveness of the sector for future generations.

In inland waterways, we are fighting for a new crewing regulation for European vessels. Besides clear and consistent crewing rules, we are pressing for a digital controlling capacity that will allow for an efficient oversight of the rules and end social dumping in the sector.

Our recent social partners' framework agreement will help us to visit vessels, talk to workers and restart our river cruise organising campaign.

I look forward to working towards our main priorities and challenges together with the talented and dedicated ETF maritime team and I would like to thank them for the work they accomplished so far. My ambition is to support them in their important mission.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Nautilus International for their support for all ongoing initiatives in the maritime industry and inland waterways in the UK, in the Netherlands and in Switzerland. As a pan-European organisation, the ETF needs strong supporters both within and outside the EU.


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