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 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.