Ireland's Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State with responsibility for maritime transport, Jack Chambers today (October 19th) announced the commencement of the first phase of a public consultation for the review of the country's National Ports Policy.
Introduced in 2013, the National Ports Policy provides the overarching policy framework for the governance and future development of Ireland's state port network, fostering competition among ports and reducing barriers for shipping companies entering the Irish market.
The Irish government is seeking a revised approach to more effectively address the needs of ports in the coming decade amid increasing environmental, technological, demographic and geopolitical challenges facing the maritime sector. "A new roadmap is needed not only to navigate these challenges successfully but to capitalize on the new opportunities they present," the Department of Transport said in a statement.
Launching the consultation, Minister Ryan emphasized the importance of engaging stakeholders and the public: “Our ports will continue to play a critical role in the future economic development of the country. As well as continuing to act as crucial hubs for the export and import of goods, a number of ports are expected to be central to our move to off-shore renewable energy. This is a timely opportunity for stakeholders and the public to have their say on the type of ports infrastructure and maritime sector we need to develop and build so that we balance the demands of the economy, the environment and wider society in a sustainable way.”
Minister Chambers said, "The review of the National Ports Policy is a significant step in ensuring the development of our maritime transport industry. As facilitators for our national economy, the efficient functioning of our ports directly impacts the life of every citizen and it is essential our ports continue to have the capacity required to support continued growth while also embracing new opportunities. I strongly encourage all stakeholders to actively engage in the consultation process and contribute their valuable insights and expertise."