An informal meeting of EU Maritime ministers ended in Athens on Wednesday with the adoption of the "Athens Declaration" on the Union's policy strategy in the sector until 2020. The Mid-term Review of the EU's Maritime Transport Policy until 2018 and Outlook to 2020 was the main topic on the meeting's agenda. The agreement member states reached outlines the priorities for the support of European Shipping in coming years. It underlines the crucial role the sector holds in European economy and prosperity, as well as the need to safeguard its long-term competitiveness and support innovation and employment, Greek Merchant Marine Minister Aegean Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told a press conference at the end of the meeting. "On the future of European Maritime Transport it is very clear that it is a huge sector of our transports and our economies and we want definitely to keep this sector in Europe," European Commission Vice President and European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas stressed during the joint press briefing. In regards to the current and planned policies on state aid rules, taxation, and in general, the financial aspect of the sector, Varvitsiotis said "everybody highlighted the importance of a transparent, clear, competitive fiscal policy regarding shipping which is important for the sector as a whole on European level."