COMMENTARY: Strategy of Maritime Development and Integrated Maritime Policy 2014-2020 – Ports’ Specialisation
Last week, the Croatian government approved the national Strategy of Maritime Development and Integrated Maritime Policy for the period 2014-2020, obviously to correspond with the European Union (EU) Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 and, thereby, satisfy another sector-wide national strategy prerequisite for the qualification of EU funding for maritime affairs projects in the next 5-6 years.
Aside from the overriding generalisations of the national strategy for the need to support and improve various areas of maritime affairs policy and the need to develop a corresponding Action Plan by 30 April 2015, there are areas of the strategy that introduces an integrated, innovative and, in some areas, controversial change in policy, including the specialisation of Croatia’s major ports, the development of a maritime educational centre, and the introduction of a “One Stop Shop” for maritime public services.
The Strategy defines the development goals through 2020, including positioning Croatia as one of the most important nautical destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean. The strategy’s objectives are to increase Croatia’s sustainable development and competitiveness in maritime affairs, in the areas of shipping and boating services, port infrastructure and services, and maritime and merchant marine education, and to achieve a secure and ecologically sustainable maritime area.
The strategy is separated into five distinct areas: Shipping/Nautical Services; Security & Ecological Maritime Transport; Improving Administrative & Public Services Capacity; Improve Maritime Knowledge, Education and Culture; Implementation & Financing…