At a high-level event of the European Parliament Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas, co-organised by European Boating Industry and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, on 13 July 20222 the industry and EU institutions met to discuss the priorities for recreational boating and nautical tourism. This was followed by a declaration on "Developing common rules for truly European nautical tourism".
The influential cross-party Intergroup, which covers maritime and inland waterway topics, brings together 107 MEPs from 23 different Member States and 6 political groups. With close to 200 registered participants, it was the setting for a much-needed and enriching conversation on the steps EU institutions should take to secure the future of European nautical tourism and the boating industry, which is intrinsically linked to the blue economy.
All speakers agreed on the need for a more European approach to address the issues highlighted at the event: the recognition of private boaters’ licenses, the mutual recognition of skipper qualifications, the sustainable development of pleasure ports and inland recreational navigation as well as the alignment of reduced VAT rates across the tourism sector to ensure a level playing field.
Following the presentations, MEP Jan-Christoph Oetjen presented the SEArica Declaration on “Developing a truly European and sustainable nautical tourism”, which will be open for MEPs in the SEArica Intergroup to sign in the next weeks.
It underlines the need for a common set of rules for the nautical tourism sector at EU level. In a thriving sector, this would boost the sustainable growth of nautical tourism and manufacturing in the years to come.
You can read the full report here.