ECOPORT 8 aims to improve the quality of ports, placing the prevention of pollution and preservation of natural resources in port areas and nearby coastal zones as pivotal to the maritime system. The project is to carry out studies, tests and provide services, attempting to define the basis for environmental port certification. Such actions are to take into account the productive needs of ports and EU and national standards in force and create pilot monitoring systems. ECOPORT 8 involves PAN-EU corridor VIII ports, integrating existing international dialogue on developments in maritime traffic docking in ports, with a common environmental policy aimed at defining shared standards. In this way it is possible to guarantee the overcoming of non-physical barriers and develop healthy and eco-sustainable competition.

The key innovative features of ECOPORT 8 are:

  • The supply to port authorities within the ports of the South East Europe (SEE) Areawith the relevant tools for environmental management, overcoming current difficulties in the field such as: the lack of specific environmental regulation, fragmentation and the non-homogenous nature of the solutions adopted by single ports.
  • The focus towards an environmental certification for PAN-EU corridors and port networks (secretariats, etc.) in all their complexity, through the drawing up of shared and common guidelines (according to UNI EN ISO 14000 standards and EMAS) which refer not only to the needs of ports, yet also to the wider interests of the community and of the territories linked to ports. In this way it will be possible to solve horizontal issues and develop healthy competition and eco-sustainable cooperation.

ECOPORT 8 is addressed to 6 Target Groups:

Firstly, to Port Authorities of the SEE area in order to create an extended network and eco-cooperation among them.
Secondly, to all policy and decision makers (at least in the 6 countries involved and hopefully in the whole SEE area and EU) who will be involved in order to promote new laws and acts able to guarantee the application of good practice beyond the ports which constitute the network.
A third central target group is those affected by the environmental port policy and engaged in port activities (shipping brokers, SMEs, authorities, single operators, etc.) due to the nature of an environmental certification.
Port end-users play an important role in environmental quality and for this reason they constitute the fourth target group to be involved in a wide dissemination plan. Because of the interaction of the majority of SEE ports with urban areas, local governments and communities living nearby will also be involved.
A fifth target group to be involved is the sector experts and the technicians working within the field of environmental systems management and Observers may constitute a separate, sixth target group.

More analytically:

a. Target Group 1

There is the need to create, within the framework of ECOPORT 8 project, a strong and continuously growing network of port authorities. Main characteristic of the members of this group is their common ground on which a dialogue could be based. This common ground of knowledge includes:

  • a transnational perspective on problem tackling;
  • a high grade of related loyal and technical skills;
  • a practice in dialoguing at international level;

The port authorities must be motivated to participate and contribute to the project, especially since they all know what the project is about and what kind of advantages could derive from a project like ECOPORT 8. The resistance that the port authorities are expected to perform as far as their active involvement in the project activities is concerned, is due to the impact that new procedures could have on everyday work life, and for this reason top managers have to be motivated so as to induce the rest of the organization to act as follower.

b. Target Group 2

This specific target group consists of all those public entities whose activity is related with the port activity at different levels. The main characteristic of this group is heterogeneity in:

  • national regulatory system;
  • level of importance addressed to the item;
  • level of integration with the EU regulatory system;
  • difference in approaches to policy definition, with a specific consistency with the participation issues;
  • differences in the way in which public bodies influence citizens behaviors or simply dialogue with operators and beneficiaries of the public services they give out.
  • The important thing with this group is to build a real stream of interest around the project that will ensure not only a simultaneous participation to project initiative, but also an opening to new countries, mostly within the SEE area, so as to enlarge the network and ensure that best practices deriving from the project will be imported and adopted far beyond the two pilot foreseen cases.

    c. Target Group 3

    A consistent target group is defined by the huge number of operators working and managing activities around or interacting with the port. Therefore, they have not only to be serious in order to better understand their needs along the project duration, but also they have to be educated to:

    • Why this project has been done and what problem will solve;
    • What is the environmental impact of their job;
    • What is the regulatory system they have to respond, not only on a national base but also at a European level;


    • What changes in port services in order to better fulfil the environmental task will be introduced;
    • What document have to produce (specifically during the pilot testing);
    • Who to contact in order to be helped in solving difficulties;

    d. Target Group 4

    A consistent target group is defined by the huge number of end users using port infrastructures. Therefore, they have to be not only listened to, in order to better understand also their needs along the project duration, but also they have to be educated to:

    • The principal environmental aspects to be considered by port authorities
    • Why this project has been done and what problem will solve;
    • A correct use of port facilities to help better performances by port authorities;


    • What changes in port facilities in order to better fulfil the environmental task will be introduced;
    • What document have to produce;

    e. Target Group 5

    These people are those who allow the “machine” to work. So, they have to be inserted since the beginning in the analysis process throughout all the communication activity and mainly the participation occasion, such us forums and web portal.
    This target group has to be informed not only on the project results, but also on the project activities in order to allow their participation, in some ways, to the definition of standards that the projects hopes.

    f. Target Group 6
     (even if they are already foreseen in the previous target group as n.1-2).
    Definition of Observer partners: Any actor invited by the project beneficiaries to take part in the project in an observant role or with advisory capacity.
    The ECOPORT 8 Observers, jointly cooperating within the project activities, are listed in the partnership section: