There is no doubt over the importance of shipping as the backbone supporting world trade. In Europe, the shipping sector holds 40% of global shipping and European ships trade on all oceans, serving many markets all over the world. In addition, shipping is a central part of the intra-European transport system with ports, ferries, barges and various other operators moving goods and people by sea. Sea transport leads to decongestion on land-based networks, eases pressure on logistics chains and provides clear environmental and climate benefits. With its geography, Europe also has the advantage that its seas span the Arctic winter areas as well as the warmer climate areas which leads to an unparalleled experience with shipping operations in different conditions. Continuing to build on Europe’s maritime dimension will strengthen the EU’s global competitiveness, increase the number of job opportunities and promote leadership and international excellence in maritime R&D.