Livorno, Italy , December 2018 – Federmanager, an association of managers, has organized an event to bring together the port authorities of the Ligurian, Tuscan , and Lazio ports to discuss opportunities to develop synergies.
The event was attended by three port authority presidents; Stefano Corsini (Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mar Tirreno Settentrionale (AdSP – North Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority); Carla Roncallo (AdSP La Spezia) and Francesco Maria Di MaJo (AdSP Civitavecchia). Paolo Emilio Signorini (AdSP Genoa) supported the event but was unable to attend. There were also representatives from other parties with an interest in ports.
The purpose of the conference was to look at measures that could be taken to overcome the current boundaries established by the Delrio port reform and aim to create shared platforms in which all port authorities can work together.
“More than two years after the port reform was introduced, the time has come to equip the AdSPs with new instruments of governance, and exploit the potential that the individual ports of the Tyrrhenian arc are able to develop to create an adequate logistics offer”, said president Corsini at the opening of the conference.
The goal is to expand the traffic basins by bringing together the potential of individual ports in competition with the ports of Northern Europe. In other words, a scenario is emerging, where the transport cycles could be consolidated into sectors that could be defined as macro-regional compared to those of the northern countries, with the port offering at the centre.
Do Genoa, Livorno, Civitavecchia, La Spezia represent a unique, multipurpose centre on the global market? Francesco Maria Di Majo said that the four port systems can not only, but must, be able to develop new synergies that will lead them to a unified position on a series of important issues, starting, for example, from that of the application of regulations, including EU issues the financial transparency of ports and emissions.
Deputy Minister for Transport, Edoardo Rixi, who spoke at the conference said, “The increase in traffic on the Mediterranean basin, the Silk Road and the development of the countries of the Africa, pose new challenges to our ports and synergy between the port authorities will be decisive in the coming years. I believe that the Tyrrhenian arc can make a system and identify common policies that will lead to the identification of new traffic opportunities, thus consolidating the capacity for commercial penetration not only in the region, but also beyond the Alps”.
For Rixi, the theme of the economy of the sea must be addressed, both in the field of administrative simplification (AdSPs must have the possibility of making investments quickly”), national marketing (Italian ports moving in unison and not competing with each other), and from the point of view of the possibility of easily revoking the concessions that do not work ( it is clear that holding a concession that gives nothing damages the national economy).
Rixi added that is necessary to make choices, and quickly, also because the European Union could soon rule on the issue of state aid to the port authorities: “We have an open dialogue with the EU, but if the European Commission were, in the end, to issue the verdict and consider the port authorities as enterprises carrying out economic activities, we would be in a position to no longer be able to finance them”.
These are the elements on which we should work and on which Rixi could achieve results in less time if there was a Ministry of the Sea: “There is no single ministry that deals with the economy of the sea”, concluded the deputy minister, adding that would prefer today to be “the minister of a Ministry of the Sea with few resources rather than the deputy minister of a Ministry such as Infrastructures and Transport that gets to have €57 billion ($64.88 million) budget that it cannot spend”.