Speaking at the 15th ESPO conference, the CEO said that stepping up the EU’s investments into port infrastructure would help strengthen and improve Europe’s economy and competitive position.
Castelein commented: “A port is only as strong as its hinterland connections.
“Solid infrastructure connections to and from ports and port-industrial complexes are of crucial importance for European prosperity and employment.”
Castelein wants the EU to free up more financial resources for infrastructure developments in the EU’s upcoming long-term budget and recommended that the Connecting European Facility (CEF) should be extended to include European energy transition projects — ensuring the future proofing of ports.
Focusing further on energy transition, Castelein drew attention to the challenges faced in realizing the emissions target set out by the Paris Agreement — commenting that ports need to take responsibility and show leadership.
Castelein said: “In this major transition, we are completely dependent on each other.
“No organisation can realise the energy transition on its own.
“It requires us to all put sustainability high on the agenda.
“The need to make this energy transition is so urgent that in addition to collaboration and decisive action, we count on the EU and local authorities to offer generous support and constructive policies.”