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What a year it was. We started off with a good event in Brussels in February and soon after Europe went into lockdown. Thanks to digital systems and your flexibility we were able to connect and discuss maritime matters. What 2021 has in store for us is yet to be found out but I am looking forward to continue our cooperation and calls and hopefully we can meet after summer.

A few things I would like to share with you and please send me an e-mail or give me a call when you have remarks or questions.

  • EU Green Deal. As you are probably all aware there is the debate on a European emission trading system (ETS) for maritime. The consultation has opened and will last until the 5th of February.

In terms of funding for green projects the draft delegated act linked to the EU Taxonomy for maritime is subject to consultation until today. Many associations and companies shared their views. The delegated act provides criteria on how assess whether a transaction lives up to the EU Taxonomy. Question is whether the criteria do support the energy transition or that they are too rigid. More information can be found via EU taxonomy for sustainable activities | European Commission (europa.eu)

  • The EU strategy for offshore renewable energy was published on the 19th of November. The strategy is linked to the climate neutral goal in 2050 and focus is on increasing the capacity for offshore wind significantly from 12 GW today to 300 GW in 2050. Floating assets (wind and solar) are part of the strategy and the relevance of a solid long term framework to attract financing parties. More to be read at offshore_renewable_energy_strategy.pdf (europa.eu)

–          Since quite a few of you are interested in better usage of data the data regulation is interesting to follow up on. On the 25th of November the European Commission announced new rules for data and data sharing in order to enhance the competitiveness of the internal market. Please find more via European Data Governance | Shaping Europe’s digital future (europa.eu)


  • Of interest to all of us is the strategic importance of the maritime cluster for the European economy. Green and digital recovery is a key item on the agenda. The renewed industry strategy is schedules for first half of 2021 and it provides a good moment to strengthen the maritime position. The various maritime sectors contribute in many ways to Europe’s society and should be known. I will follow up specifically on this topic in January but please note within your clusters the debate in Parliament.
  • Very recently the sustainable and smart mobility strategy was launched by the European Commission. An extensive series of documents that involves all relevant topics linked to transport. It includes delivering of zero emission vessels in 2030. Happy to share my analysis with you after the Holiday break. For now please find the relevant documents at A fundamental transport transformation (europa.eu)

–         During our last ENMC meeting we spoke about the mission Starfish that has a focus on healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters. Coordinator is Pascal Lamy, former CEO of the World Trade Organization. The report is worth a read and I would to like to continue our dialogue on this. Please find more information via https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/mission-starfish-2030-restore-our-ocean-and-waters_en

  • A potentially interesting conferencing has been announced for 2021: the G-STIC 2021 will take place in Dubai. In the 2020 edition focus was also on ocean health and maritime sustainability. For the 2021 edition the maritime theme could be centered around digitalization. Please have a look at the website and let me know if you would like to hear more about it: https://www.expo2020dubai.com; http://www.luxembourgexpo2020dubai.lu/en/;  https://www.cc2020.lu


21 dicembre 2020


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The European maritime cluster faces an interesting second half of 2020. With a European Union focusing on a green and digital future for Europe, the insecurities due to COVID-19 still around and a global economy that is somewhere in between survival and recovery mode it is time to look ahead and give a clear voice to what the maritime sector can do to strengthen the blue backbone of the European Union and what is needed to deliver.


ENMC stakeholder event

Monday 28 September the half yearly stakeholder meeting with our members and maritime associations in Brussels took place. We spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on the maritime value chain, the difficulties with crew changes and operational business but also about the opportunities arising from the recovery strategy of the European Commission. Quite a few ENMC members were present as well as representatives from amongst others SEA Europe, ECSA and Feport. We aim to increase the number of maritime associations present at these meetings since we unanimously agreed that cooperation within the maritime cluster is key. Bringing a clear voice on the relevance of the maritime cluster to Brussels, enhancing regional cooperation and increasing the availability and accurateness of data were three of the main topics. For the first and second I will prepare a discussion note to be spoken about during the annual meeting and for the third one talks with ECSA and SEA Europe are ongoing and I will update you during the annual event.


DIGITAL annual event ENMC

On 22nd of October the annual event of ENMC will take place from 9h30 to 16h00. Please note that this event will be a digital meeting via Microsoft TEAMS as you received the invite due to COVID 19. We have two interesting guest speakers: one is the director of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the other speaker is from DG Mare and will have a dialogue with us on the renewed Blue economy strategy. The agenda for the meeting has been sent and please let us know if there are topics missing.


A few relevant topics on the agenda of the European Commission

Recovery and resilience facility

The European Union put in place an incredible financial package to strengthen Europe’s economy and push it towards a green and digital future. The approximately EUR 670 billion recovery and resilience facility is at the heart of the is package. Member states are invited to deliver their proposals in the second quarter of 2021 (30 april 2021) as is understood now. More can be found via https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1659


FuelEU Maritime

FuelEU Maritime focuses on the switch to alternative fuels. Legislation and the impact assessment are expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. More information on the recent consultation can be found here https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12312-FuelEU-Maritime-


Renewal Blue Economy Strategy

The Blue Economy strategy will be reviewed and renewed and the process starts in October. The idea is to think in themes instead of in sectors and the circular economy and decarbonization are relevant items. Renewable energy is of course an important topic as are the dynamics related to maritime spatial planning. Waterborne transport is still the cleanest mode of transport and it needs safe routes and futureproof ports. The strategy should be delivered early spring and ENMC has been asked to join the discussions.


Broadening the network

ENMC is reaching out to the automotive sector in order to learn from other industries. A meeting is planned to be set up in the fourth quarter of this year. Furthermore new meetings with DG Mare are on the list: one should focus on the Blue Invest Fund and the other on maritime data and new innovative parts of the maritime cluster.


Maritime events coming up

Please find via http://enmc.eu/events/ the maritime events coming up. I would like to highlight one that is organized by SEARICA on the 14th of October ‘Maritime Industries: Recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and building a strong renewal strategy’. A relevant event for many of us and the basis for our renewed dialogue with SEARICA.

Registration can be done via http://www.searica.eu/2020-2024/events-2019-2024/maritime-industries-recovering-from-the-covid-19-crisis-and-building-a-strong-renewal-strategy

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The last weeks and months have been a rollercoaster for all of us. Almost every European country has taken strict measures to protect the health of its citizens and manage the impact of the worldwide health crisis. Due to the closing of borders and a steep decline in industrial production European countries are faced with a falling demand and see their economies heading for a downfall. Economic and financial packages are introduced on a European level and on national levels.

In this newsletter we would like to share a few key items that impact the whole of the maritime industry.

1. Many countries have taken economic and financial measures. Keeping track of all of them is quite a task. The IMF COVID tracker is very helpful in understanding the statistics of countries worldwide. The tracker can be found via the following link:


2. Renewal and/ or introduction of strategies of the European Commission is continuing. Two topics that are on the agenda and which are relevant to our cluster:

  1. A European strategy on the future of the blue economy.
  2. A strategy on renewable (offshore) energy.

Both are relevant however ENMC can play its best role in contributing to the blue economy strategy as it combines the various interests of all of our niche sectors. Both strategies will be developed coming months/ this year.

3. Early March the European Commission announced the climate law to meet the EU’s 2050 net zero emissions target. The climate law has to be approved by the European Parliament and member states. For more information: https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/eu-climate-action/law_en

Furthermore the Technical Expert Group (TEG) has published its final report on the EU Taxonomy in the first half of March. The Taxonomy gives a clear view of what can be seen as green finance and which investments can be labeled as sustainable. More information is found on via the link:  https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/business_economy_euro/banking_and_finance/documents/200309-sustainable-finance-teg-final-report-taxonomy_en.pdf

4. Relevant events (some have been postponed until a later date):

  1. European Maritime Days were to take place 14 – 15 May in Cork and are postponed to later date possibly this year.
  2. COP26 (UN Climate Conference) was scheduled for November this year in Glasgow and has been postponed to a later date, yet unknown.
  3. The yearly international WISTA conference is planned for 16 – 18 September in Hamburg. More information via www.wistainternational2020.com
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European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) discusses the future of the maritime industry during EU Shipping Week.

It was with great pleasure that the European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) welcomed the maritime stakeholders at the European Shipping Week to discuss the future of the European maritime industry and the economics of the clusters behind it. The President of the ENMC, Arjen Uytendaal welcomed the new Commissioner Sinkeviçius (Environment, Oceans and Fisheries) who addressed in his speech the opportunity of the maritime clusters to be pioneers. During the stakeholder dialogue the key topics for ENMC for 2020 were listed.



One year anniversary of the ‘Blauwe Cluster’ in Belgium

Just one year old and already very successful. On the 24th of January the Belgian maritime cluster celebrated its birthday with over 180 people at the state of the art Maritime Research Centre in Oostende. Innovation is one of the cornerstones of the Cluster. With the diversity of members the ‘Blauwe Cluster’ has, it is likely to make 2020 a very interesting year. Belgian minister Crevits underlined the relevance of the cooperation and expressed her support for the cluster’s ambitions.



European Maritime Day

14 and 15 May the European Maritime Day conference and expo (EMD) will take place in Cork, Ireland. At a time where the ocean economy is more and more linked to the land economy and sustainability is slowly but surely becoming part of the DNA of maritime clusters, the European Maritime Day conference offers the network and stage to discuss the blue future. Who of the ENMC members will attend?


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