Wednesday, May 5, 2021

European Ports Discuss the Future Over Three Days This Month

Brexit, Covid and Climate Change All on the Agenda
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – The Belgian based European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) is getting its ducks in a row with a series of conferences across the continent with a view to assessing how its members will react to the current and future changes being brought about by events such as the pandemic, climate change and Brexit.

The ‘ESPO Conference Regatta 2021’ sets off from the Port of Valencia on the 25th May and will then travel to the Port of the North Sea (Ghent, Belgium) and the Port of Oslo (Norway) on the 26th and 28th May respectively. The three ports will discuss the fundamental role of the port enclosures in maintaining the supply chains during the Covid-19 crisis, as well as their role in the ‘green’ economic recovery and the new ‘Europe of the 27’ after the departure of the United Kingdom.

The 17th edition of this annual meeting will analyse how to involve all the partners of the port ecosystem, as part of a prosperous and environmentally friendly economy, in initiatives such as the 'Green Deal', Europe's flagship project to become the world's first zero net emission area by 2050. All of this they say, from an approach of open strategic autonomy in trade and a clear commitment to digitalisation to join forces and face any challenge.

Questions include ‘What role do ports have in the construction of a strong and resilient Europe?’ and ‘How can they become true engines of growth and recovery, and what are the most appropriate tools for this?’ The initial event will take place in the emblematic Clock Building of the Port of Valencia and will be attended, in person and online, by the president of the Port Authority of Valencia, Aurelio Martínez; the President of ESPO, Annaleena Mäkilä; and the Commissioner for Transport of the European Union, Adina Vălean, who will be responsible for opening the day.

Following this introduction, the results of the recent joint study by Deloitte and ESPO on the future roles of European port authorities will be presented. In the same way, throughout the morning, different experts in the field will debate and make an X-ray of the state of the question until the end of this event, which will be concluded by the MEP Inmaculada Rodríguez Piñeiro.

A copy of the full conference programme can be viewed here and registrations to attend made here.

Photo: Valencia's historic clock tower (courtesy of Valenciaport)