On 23 May 2017, the Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) opened a call for applications aimed at setting up a group of experts called the ‘European Ports Forum’. The group’s tasks include: contribution to the priorities identified in the Valletta Ministerial Declaration of 10 April 2017 on the EU Maritime Transport Policy; advice to the Commission on initiatives to promote and support a uniform implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/352 establishing a framework for the provision of port services and common rules on the financial transparency of ports; support on the cooperation between Member States’ authorities on matters arising from the implementation of the above mentioned Regulation; supply of advice, analysis, information and data to the Commission on any other matters related to the various Commission policies with an impact on maritime ports.

The members of the group shall be different from Member States’ authorities and other public entities. The group shall consist of up to 60 members in total, including: organizations that represent port authorities at a European level; port equipment industries; port employees; the main port-cities and non-governmental organizations protecting the environment; users of maritime ports (shippers, logistic operators and ship-owners, rail, inland navigation and intermodal transport operators serving ports); providers of port services.

Member States’ authorities, organisations and other public entities shall nominate their representatives and shall be responsible for ensuring that they provide a high level of expertise. The duly signed applications shall be sent no later than 30 June 2017.