European Union and Maritime Law
Petar Kragić, Legal Counsel, Tankerska Plovidba dd, Croatia
China as a catch up country has managed to master a breath taking development form its opening to the outside world in late 1970 ties until present times, in which period it established itself as the second economy in the world. This success is the prove that Chinese development policy is efficient and bears fruits. Raise of the Chinese economy changes the landscape of the world’s economy, and the world has to take notice of what is going on. The West and particularly EU still envisage the world’s market as a playground for “free and fair competition”, without monopolies and state aids and supports which might distort clean completion. However, EU has allowed state aid to shipping in form of tonnage tax and subsidies for innovations which are not mandatory, but it becomes clear that these measures are short of positioning the EU shipping in a competitive mode for the future. China has a comprehensive shipping policy which combines shipyards, control over cargoes, ships’ finance, logistic, manpower and long term strategy. The article argues that EU has to overhaul its shipping policy and add additional measures in support of its fleet; otherwise the future might prove that the current permissible state aid was insufficient and that complacency took away the competitive edge of EU shipping.
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