Isabelle Ryckbost

Isabelle Ryckbost

Secretary General of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) since 1/08/2013. Before taking up this function, Isabelle has been working as Director of the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) and Senior Advisor of ESPO for four years.

She studied Law (University of Namur and KULeuven) and European Law (UCL Louvain). Before joining EFIP, she worked in EU Public Affairs for almost 20 years. After a short period at the European Commission (DG Agriculture), she worked in an EU Public Affairs consultancy. In 1994 she started working in the European Parliament, as a political assistant and between 1999 and 2009 she was the political assistant of Dirk Sterckx, where she was mainly active in transport and port-related fields. She is co-author of the handbook “Zo Werkt Europa” (1st edition 2007, 2nd edition 2010, 3rd edition 2015).

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  • EU-ETS parameters explained

    EXCLUSIVE: The implementation and competitiveness challenge


    EXCLUSIVE: How will shipping implement all the new emissions regulation coming into force?

  • Shipping in Shanghai

    Unifying the way we all count emissions


    Europe is looking to unify the way that freight and passenger transport and hubs count emissions

  • Wind turbine from a Wind4Wallonia windfarm

    Ports in the race to net-zero


    Europe has been focusing on its Green Deal ambition to make the EU the first net zero continent

  • Isabelle Ryckbost, secretary general, ESPO

    Setting course for a new year


    How do you start a new year with new intentions, ambitions and strategies in a world full of uncertainties?

  • The REPower EU plan aims at enhancing Europe’s energy independence

    Never waste a good crisis


    Since the beginning of 2020 we are experiencing world crises most of us would have considered before as unrealistic and never to happen again.

  • The Fit for 55 proposal extends the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) to voyages involving European ports

    Emission trading system - will it be effective?


    As part of the Fit for 55-package published in July last year, the Commission issued a proposal to include emissions from maritime in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS).

  • Isabelle Ryckbost, secretary general, ESPO

    Towards a sustainable TEN-T policy


    The European Commission has put another ambitious package on the table while we are still in the process of assessing the full implications of Fit-for-55, says Isabelle Ryckbost, secretary general, ESPO.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost, secretary general of ESPO

    Call for FuelEU clarity


    European ports want coherent legislation on provision and use of clean energy infrastructure for ports.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost, secretary general, ESPO

    Creating green energy hubs


    The EU Commission has published a whole series of proposals for Europe to reach a 55% emission reduction by 2030.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost

    Making the EU fit for 55


    If all goes well, on 14 July we will not only be commemorating the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille in 1789, but also be bearing witness to a green revolution in Europe.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost

    Onshore power supply where it makes sense


    In the 2019 European Parliament, Vice President Timmermans clearly voiced his intention to tackle shipping emissions at berth in ports.

  • Stylised digital graphic showing data overlaid on a port

    From Green Deal to green recovery?


    In the last edition of the Greenport magazine I shared ESPO’s view on the Green Deal with you, but then just when these unprecedented EU ambitions to fight climate change were put forward, Covid-19 happened.

  • Port of Rotterdam

    The best green deal for ports?


    The “Green Deal” will be one, if not the biggest priority of the European Commission under President Von der Leyen and here I’ll discuss why.

  • IMO

    More efficiency, less emissions?


    Shipping will have to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2050. The IMO agreement agreed in April of this year has been considered by many policy makers and many stakeholders, including the ports, as a real milestone.

  • Port waste bins

    Regulating ships’ waste


    A new port facilities directive should lead to more efficient but responsible management of waste from ships.

  • ESPO's Top 10 Priorities. 1: Air quality; 2: Energy consumption; 3: Noise; 4:Water quality; 5: Dredging operations; 6: Garbage/Port waste; 7: Port development (land related); 8: Relatinship with local community; 9: Ship waste; 10: Climate change

    Environmental priorities of European ports


    Since 1996, the European port sector has been monitoring, through the EcoPorts network, the main environmental concerns of port authorities in Europe.

  • Plastic waste on a beach

    One bridge too far


    It’s often said European port authorities assume both public and economic responsibilities and our latest fact-finding survey showed that 90% of European ports are situated in or close to urban agglomerations.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost

    A window of opportunities


    I believe that when it comes to increasing efficiency both in terms of energy and operations, do more with less, is one important path to follow. And this certainly counts for the operational side of the maritime transport sector.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost

    The sustainable agenda of European cruise ports


    At the end of February, Brussels was the place to be for the European maritime sector. The maritime beau monde gathered in Europe’s capital for the second edition of the European Shipping Week.

  • Isabelle Ryckbost

    Ecoports: The EU port’s environmental initiative turns 20


    2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Ecoports network. What started in 1997 as a separate initiative of a number of ports proactive in the field of environment evolved over the years towards a solid network of around 100 European ports within ESPO.

More by Isabelle Ryckbost