Casa: EU cash to Egyptian ports cannot undermine member states ports like Malta

In letters to EBRD and EIB, Casa says financing of Egyptian port undermines ETS obligations now burdening Maltese transhipment port

David Casa
David Casa

Nationalist MEP David Casa (EPP) has called on the Maltese government as well as EU institutions to better protect key strategic industries such as transhipment.

Casa, speaking on the introduction of EU legislation and its potential ramifications for small countries like Malta, said such impacts had to be taken into consideration on investments that use EU money.

“It is very difficult to understand how EU money is being used to bolster African port activities at a time when the extension of the ETS to the maritime sector has become an existential threat to EU transhipment hubs,” Casa said of the emissions trading scheme that came into force in 2024.

Casa argued that while improved logistical capacity in the Mediterranean is a good thing, EU support for projects in Africa must be attached to robust conditions including that they contribute to securing the EU’s climate ambitions. 

“What we are witnessing is an absence of strategic planning and coordination to the detriment of ports located inside the EU as well as the environment. Funding that is not tied to stringent conditions should cease and coordination for the protection of European industry as well as reaching climate targets should be given the priority they manifestly deserve,” Casa said,

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in which the European Investment Bank and the EU are shareholders, is supporting projects in the Egyptian port of Damietta with the specific purpose of increasing their transhipment capabilities, while the European Investment Bank has provided support for the development of ancillary infrastructure to the same port.

“What good will it do in the battle against climate change for the EU to reduce its emissions only because those emissions are now being produced along the North African coast?” asked the Maltese MEP. 

In letters to the relevant EU Commissioners and the President of the European Investment Bank, Casa demanded a coordinated and common-sense approach that remains cognisant of climate obligations and European strategic interests.

This follows actions taken by Casa last month, when he brought the particular concerns of Malta’s transhipment industry to the attention of Climate Commissioner Hoekstra, asking for expedient mitigating measures in order to avoid potential damage to the sector.

“Transhipment is a key industry for Malta. The Maltese government should maintain a clear overview of what is happening within the institutions and forcefully convey Malta’s strategic interests. This is simply not happening. Instead we have seen a rather poor effort in defending our interests. This must change.”

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