The EU port policy in a historical perspective
This paper examines the evolution of the European Union (EU) Port Policy within a historical perspective. Analysing the changing aspects of the sectoral socio-economic context and the alterations of the institutional setting, the paper explains the slow start towards a European Port Policy (EPP), that lasted more than three decades, and then assesses why, and how, policy actors involved in the EU policy making have succeeded in carving out elements of a policy framework. The study chronicles the stages by which the EU has moved into the port policy field. Grounding on the analysis of the changing sectoral environment, the paper analyses the complex sequence of events, which have led either to legislative and political decisions or to output failures. As demonstrated by the historical analysis (1957-2004), policy integration is a dynamic, seemingly irreversible, process, which marked by the searching for a balance between liberalisation and harmonisation.