Contributing to an Attractive, Smart and Sustainable Working Environment in the Shipping Sector – ‘WESS’

ECSA and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) - the EU recognised Social Partners’ organisations representing the interests of employers and employees in the Social Dialogue Committee for the Maritime transport sector - were awarded EU funding for a new joint social dialogue project that is being implemented in 24 months from 2020-2022.

The maritime transport sector is vital to the lives of Europeans and of high strategic importance to the European economy. Suitably qualified seafarers are essential to achieving safe, secure, environmentally sound and efficient shipping. The sustainability of this dynamic sector depends on the ability to continue to attract a sufficient number of quality new entrants and retain experienced seafarers, including women seafarers and other under-represented groups. A creative approach involving the social partners and all other relevant stakeholders is necessary, in order to achieve both meaningful and viable solutions.

In their Work programme for the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for maritime transport 2020-2022, ECSA and ETF have reaffirmed the importance of  prioritising efforts that contribute to an attractive, smart and sustainable working environment in the shipping sector and agreed to do so jointly through this new joint project.  





The WESS project involves the implementation of several activities centred around two Pillars:

Pillar 1: Supporting the work of the joint ECSA-ETF working group on Health and Safety on board;

this involves:

  1. Communications on board ships - the development of guidelines on the provision and appropriate use of internet access on board for seafarers’ personal use;
  2. Conducting a research report to investigate the increased usage of digitalisation on board and possible benefits/improvements to shipboard safety and welfare; and
  3. Translating the international guidelines to shipping companies on eliminating workplace harassment and bullying into the key languages


Pillar 2: Implementing the priority actions in the ECSA and ETF joint declaration of intention on enhanced participation of women in European shipping

– including an awareness raising campaign and a research work to identify good practices of measures to enhance the recruitment and retention of women in the industry, including measures to deal with gender policies in the workplace.

In order to implement the above-mentioned tasks, the project management team is issuing calls for tenders (see below) for experts to support in implementing the research on digitalisation and the initiatives on women in shipping. Watch this page for regular updates!


Calls for Tender



For more information about the project, please contact Rosella Marasco (, Eurico Ortiga ( or Nikolaos Koletsis (