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Monday, December 11, 2017

INTERTANKO European Reference Group meets in Brussels on 7-8 January

An inaugural meeting took place in Brussels on 7 and 8 January of the INTERTANKO European Reference Group on European Union tanker issues. The overall aim of the Reference Group is to serve as a forum for discussion and review of the programmes, policies and strategies of the Association in Europe within the general policies set by the INTERTANKO Council. The European Reference Group will also act as a resource group for the INTERTANKO Secretariat and European advisers in relation to tanker issues under discussion in the European Union and particularly in EU Member State Capitals. Most of the Reference Group members are also members of the INTERTANKO Council and the work of the Reference Group will be anchored in the INTERTANKO Council policies on European issues.

The INTERTANKO European Reference Group elected Mr. Patrick Decavele (Brostrom Tankers SAS) as its Chairman and Mr. Nick Fistes (Ceres Hellenic Shipholdings Ltd) and Mr. Rolf Jacob,( Ernst Jacob (GmbH & Co KG)) as Vice-Chairmen.

The establishment of a European Reference Group, whose members will be drawn from the INTERTANKO membership, to further strengthen the Association's lobbying efforts has been discussed for some time. We are very effectively represented by ADS Insight in Brussels who, in combination with INTERTANKO member representatives and staff frequently present in Brussels, has secured a good platform for promoting the interests of the tanker industry. INTERTANKO is thus seen as the authoritative voice of the tanker industry in Brussels.

The contact with the European Commission is very good at all levels and the contact network within and co-operation with the European Parliament is also building up rapidly. To strengthen this position and to put further emphasis on the interaction between the Brussels institutions and key European Capitals, INTERTANKO initiated the establishment of the European Reference Group whose membership would be drawn from among INTERTANKO members from European States currently having key roles in developing European Maritime policy. A few INTERTANKO Committee Chairmen will also be invited to take part in the work of the Reference Group depending on the issues on the agenda.

The idea is that the reference group members would be given detailed briefing and frequent updates on INTERTANKO's European Work Programme, over time enabling reference group members to be used as a sounding board in relation to the European Work Programme. An equally important function would be the building up of contacts in the respective capitals to facilitate constructive interchange with local authorities on tanker issues in general, but in particular on issues that are also under discussion in Brussels. This initiative is not intended to displace the excellent co-operation INTERTANKO enjoys with national and regional organizations, but to add another dimension to the work and to strengthen the ability to address tanker issues effectively on behalf of the membership.

Contact: Svein Ringbakken