Small islands cannot bear disproportionate burden on ETS tax – Cutajar

Labour MEP Josianne Cutajar pushes amendments to European Port Strategy to highlight connectivity between islands and mainland

Labour MEP Josianne Cutajar
Labour MEP Josianne Cutajar

Labour MEP Josianne Cuatajar has pushed forward amendments in a resolution on Building a Comprehensive European Port Strategy, as a member of the EP committee on transport and tourism.

These amendments recognise the crucial role that Maltese ports play, especially concerning connectivity between islands, peripheral regions and their respective mainland.

These amendments also address concerns about the effects of extending the Emissions Trading System (ETS) tax to the maritime sector.

The resolution, successfully voted on at this week’s plenary in Strasbourg, makes reference to the importance of avoiding and addressing carbon leakage.

Container ships that typically opted for EU ports like the Malta Freeport, are instead relocating to other ports, namely those in North Africa, so as to avoid the new ETS emissions tax.

Reflecting on the ongoing work, which also includes a Parliamentary Question to the European Commission, Cutajar stressed that it is essential to continue pressuring the Commission towards a fair and effective solution to the issues raised by ETS. This includes its impact on the economic activity of the Malta Freeport as well as on Maltese workers, businesses, and citizens, who equally rely on a competitive maritime sector.

“Small countries and islands like Malta and Gozo cannot bear a disproportionate burden due to their size and insularity. Therefore, we need to continue insisting that the European Union finally adopts an Islands Pact, which also ensures proper impact assessments for islands like ours when presenting proposals directly affecting us.

“These are crucial demands outlined in the Islands Report, which I negotiated on behalf of the Socialists in the European Parliament, demands that we must keep asserting on with the European Commission,” Cutajar said.

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