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Italy's shipbuilders embrace Europe's €750bn coronavirus recovery plan

PHOTO: FINCANTIERI CRUISE Scarlet Lady and sister.jpg
European recovery plan could boost the building of sustainable ships and create jobs. Pictured here, Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente
Assonave welcomed the €750bn European recovery plan's inclusion of shipbuilding as a priority sector.

Fostering sustainable ships

'This plan has two main goals. The first is to boost the production and use of modern, environmentally sustainable ships, with relevant positive effects in terms of job creation and mobility,' Assonave President Vincenzo Petrone said. 'The second goal is to make up the deficit of investments needed to accelerate the “green” transition of European ships to account for the challenging environmental protection objectives that Europe intends to achieve by 2030.'

Assonave, which represents Italy's shipbuilders, believes the Recovery Plan — if streamlined and properly financed — can become an efficient means to achieve the growth objectives the European industry has set for itself against the tough challenge from Asia's shipbuilding sector. Assonave also recognized the role that Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and Italy's government are playing to enhance the naval engineering industry.

The association was reacting to the 'Next Generation EU' plan, announced Wednesday by European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen. It consists of €500bn in allocations and €250bn in loans.

Job creation

In its communication to the European Parliament, European Council, Council of the European Union and the Committee of Regions, the EC acknowledged the transportation industry's essential role, particularly during the current health crisis. The EC also acknowledged that in order to create new jobs, it is essential to boost the production and use of sustainable ships.

The EC further proposed to reinforce programs such as the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Connecting Europe Facility fund and the European Defense Fund. And it mentioned gaps that will have to be filled by annual €20bn investments aimed at achieving the 'green' transition of vehicles, rolling stock, ships and aircraft, infrastructure excluded.

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