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European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for transport met today with top-level representatives of the European transport and logistics sector. The occasion was the launch meeting of the High Level Group on Logistics (HLGL), set up to provide strategic advice on the future transport policy measures with impact on logistics.
Vice President Kallas said: "Logistics is a crucial business for the EU, providing 11 million jobs in the EU and representing 4.9% of our economy in terms of added value. It is an inseparable part of the European transport policy and major contributor to business success. It is therefore paramount that we discuss the challenges ahead together with the stakeholders in order to fully unlock the potential of the European logistics and freight transport sector".
The importance of the sector for the EU economy has been recognised by the Commission in the White Paper on Transport. Data show that logistics sector is an important contributor to the EU economy. Six countries out of the global top-10 logistic performers are from the EU in 20121. Thus the European Commission has a vital role to play in creating appropriate framework conditions for this sector.
With the goal of identifying synergies between the Commission and the industry, and to build a sound business environment for this sector, the High Level group met in Brussels today. It comprises top-level representatives of logistics service providers, customers of logistics companies, transport operators, ports/terminal operators, academics, IT companies and social partners.
The discussion focused on the main bottlenecks that hinder freight logistics and transport. The members of the Group also discussed possible solutions that are expected to bring the desired improvements.
The creation of the group was very welcome by its participants who consider it a means to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Commission on the challenges for logistics.
For the Commission it is a unique platform to consider actions targeted to enhance further the logistics sectors' competitiveness and performance while at the same time contributing to the achievement of the European transport policy objectives.
Members of the High Level Group on Logistics
Mr Alan Mckinnon, Professor and Head of Logistics, the Kühne Logistics UNIVERSITY of HAMBURG
Mr Lauri Ojala, Professor, Turku School of Economics, UNIVERSITY of TURKU
Mr Robert-Jan Zimmerman, CEO, MERCURIUS Shipping Group
Ms Kerstin Geiger, Global Head Industry Solutions, SAP
Mr Frank Appel, CEO, DEUTSCHE POST DHL
Ms Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO, TNT Express
Mr Laurent Freixe, Executive Vice-President, NESTLE
Mr Clemence Cheng, Managing Director, HUTCHISON Port Holdings Central Europe Division
Mr Rafael Aznar Garrigues, Chairman of the Port Authority of Valencia
Ms Myriam Chaffart, Political Secretary Inland Waterways and Logistics, European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF)
Mr Rodolphe Saadé, Executive Officer, CMA CGM
Mr Niels Smedegaard, CEO, DFDS
Mr Christian Kern, CEO, ÖBB Group AG
Ms Hjoerdis Stahl, Executive Vice-President, LUXAIR Cargo
29 June 2012
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