On Wednesday 8 May, the State Secretary for Defense Barbara Visser visited the Port of Rotterdam to be informed about various (geopolitical) topics, also with regard to the European elections. The State Secretary was accompanied by VVD (candidate) MEPs Caroline Nagtegaal (number 3 on the list) and Bart Groothuis (number 4 on the list) and Dieke van Groningen (VVD councilor municipality of Rotterdam).
After an introduction about the Port Authority's policy on cyber security and cyber safety, an exchange of views took place about possible threats and cyber risks in the port. Together with ECT, also present during the working visit, the most important risks were discussed and the Port Authority mapped out what measures it is taking to prevent cyber attacks and to inform the port community about possible cyber risks.
The question to what extent we should allow foreign investments in vital port infrastructure was also extensively discussed, also in light of recent Chinese investments in the context of their One Belt, One Road initiative. The Dutch government is currently working on a China strategy that will be published this month . The discussion revealed that the EU has a role to play in guaranteeing a level playing field, reciprocity and the application of European state aid rules, also to foreign capital, in order to combat unfair competition.
Finally, the EU is working on a strategy for military mobility. During the working visit we discussed potential opportunities that this development offers for Rotterdam and the Netherlands and how we can protect our vital (port) infrastructure if mobility is the main focus of NATO's military strategy.