European ports embrace æcommunity managerÆ
European ports governance has changed substantially in recent years as authorities become facilitators rather than operations, according to a report released last week by the European Seaports Organization.
Based on a survey of ESPO members last year, the report analyzes the objectives, functions, institutional frameworks and financial capabilities of ports in the region, ESPO said.
Among the report's findings:
' Traditional functions of port authorities have gone through substantial change, with the operator function making way for landlord and regulatory functions.
' Most port authorities proactively pursue a 'community manager' policy and adopt a strong 'facilitator' role, though only a few port authorities have ventured into genuine 'entrepreneurial' activities so far.
' The vast majority of port authorities in Europe are publicly owned, with the exception of some of the larger ports in the United Kingdom and smaller, industrial ports on the continent.
' Most port authorities bear heavy financial responsibilities regarding investment and personnel, but many do not seem to be full master over their income and lack financial autonomy in varying degrees.
' Differences in European port governance frameworks are generally determined regionally.
' A north-south split exists in Europe, which not only involves simple ownership differences, but covers many other governance elements, especially functional and financial autonomy, which is typically more limited in the south.