Malta Marittima had the pleasure of participating at this year’s European Maritime Day conference held in Turku, Finland on 18 and 19 May 2016 – both as an exhibitor in the Networking Village and as a speaker at the ‘Delivering blue growth through Intervision’ workshop. The conference provided a buzzing environment wherein stakeholders in the maritime community had the opportunity to share their experience and participate in lively debates on the blue economy.
The focus this year was towards unlocking investment in the blue economy; hence, the title: ‘Investing in smart and sustainable solutions for competitive Blue Growth.’ Around 21 workshops and five thematic sessions were held to prompt an exchange on how policies should be shaped and how stakeholders can drive innovation for smart and sustainable solutions for blue growth in sectors like ocean energy, shipping and cruise tourism to mention but a few. Mr Franco Schembri, Senior Manager at Malta Marittima, gladly accepted the invitation to participate as a speaker Delivering blue growth through Intervision’; a workshop organised by the Dutch delegation. Mr Schembri’s session stimulated discussion on the economic significance of maritime clusters from a West Mediterranean perspective. Using the Agency as a case study, Mr Schembri presented how the cluster concept is being used as a mechanism to achieve further economic development in the maritime sector through an integrated approach and to strengthen maritime governance by trying to bridge the gap between the public and private sector. He explained how clusters are considered to fit well with the philosophy of Blue Growth because it establishes the appropriate synergies amongst the stakeholders of the various maritime economic activities, through its link with economic prosperity, as well as through its promotion for innovation and exchange of best practice. The discussion around the table clearly demonstrated the different setups of clusters. However, it was generally agreed that maritime clusters would provide the platform for more coordinated efforts to be achieved among the stakeholders and to also help drive innovation and potentially tapping into new blue growth activities.
“The sustainable blue economy is not some dream – it’s a reality.”
Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
At this year’s European Maritime Days, the importance of European ports in the maritime economy was also celebrated through a photo competition organised by the European Commission. Malta Marittima was very pleased to see a Maltese entry exhibiting the vibrant atmosphere of the port of Marsaxlokk. On behalf of our team, we wish to congratulate Mr Joseph Galea for successfully showcasing one of Malta’s historical trading ports and for his work to be selected as one of the top ten photos in celebration of European Port.
Exhibition booth at the Networking Village
Leading the Delivering blue growth
Photo of Marsaxlokk, Malta by Joseph
“A strong blue economy doesn’t claim there is just one recipe for success. We can all innovate, learn from one another, and adapt other approaches to our own specific context,” stated Commissioner Vella. Such a statement confirms the need for further cooperation and coordination at the regional level to tap into the full potential of the blue economy. Nevertheless, Commissioner Vella continued to state that the European agenda for blue growth “must extend to shaping international ocean governance”, in order to ensure that we continue to support sustainable growth in our seas and oceans with our global partners.
In 2017, the European Maritime Days will be hosted in Poole, United Kingdom.
For further information, presentations and summaries of the European Maritime Days sessions, please watch this space: http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/maritimeday/en/home