Policy priorities

Social Affairs

Social Affairs

Shipping is the engine of the European maritime cluster, delivering quality employment at sea and ashore. European seafarers form one of the main assets of the shipping sector, given their high level of training and skills. ECSA represents the shipowners’ interests in the European Sectoral Social Dialogue with its social partner European Transport Workers’ Federation, ETF.

Education and training are the backbone of the shipping industry, as the industry is dependent on well-trained crew and staff members. There is a need of continued investment in the skills required for the changing needs of the ships in the future and to promote careers at sea.

Read more of Social Performance of Shipping 

European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) are the EU recognised Social Partners’ organisations in the maritime transport sector. The  organisations have been involved in the EU social dialogue for some decades and have over the past years successfully carried out a number of projects such as Disseminating training materials for a harassment and  bullying-free workplace in shipping co-financed through EU funds. Please see the projects here.

International support services available to seafarers anywhere in the world. 

Recent and current agenda topics include:

  • Social Partner Agreement on the 2014 ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) amendments
  • Social Dialogue with European Transport Workers’ Federation 
  • Social Dumping
  • Union Code on Visas - see our position paper with ETF, ITF and ICS here 
  • Proposal on a European Transport and Information System
  • Schengen Border Code
  • Passenger rights when travelling by sea and inland waterway