Ship owners and shipping industry leaders have joined forces with global event organiser Shipping Innovation to launch the inaugural European Shipping Week (ESW) to be held in Brussels in the early part of 2015.
The week-long series of high level events will centre on a major conference and Gala Dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA). It will bring together the major players in the shipping industry with the primary aim of promoting the strengths and the importance of European and global shipping to legislators in Brussels such as the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
The European Commission, through DG MOVE, has endorsed European Shipping Week and formal patronage is already being sought from it as well as the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
The initiative, which was the brainchild of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), will be run by a Steering Group made up of Europe’s main shipping organisations as well as the European Commission and Shipping Innovation. The shipping organisations involved on the Steering Group include: ECSA; Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe; European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ECASBA); Interferry; the European Dredging Association; the World Shipping Council, as well as the European Tugowners’ Association. Other European shipping associations may also be invited to support the initiative and hold relevant events during the week.
Welcoming the announcement of European Shipping Week, Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), said: “Hosting European Shipping Week gives the European and global shipping industry the ideal opportunity to demonstrate to the new European Parliament and the new European Commission why shipping in Europe is so important, particularly highlighting the industry’s potential to generate greater growth and jobs.
“For ECSA, an important aim of European Shipping Week will be to sell the merits of a quality shipping industry to those in Brussels whose job it is to legislate and make rules.”
ESW is organised by Shipping Innovation – a joint venture between Elaborate Communications and Petrospot and the driving force behind the highly successful London International Shipping Week (LISW). More details about the week-long line-up of events will be released in due course.
European Shipping Week receives patronage of the European Parliament
European Shipping Week has been granted the European Parliament’s official patronage by its President, Mr Martin Schultz. Both the European Commission and the European Parliament have now actively expressed their support for the week-long event which will be held in Brussels during March 2-6, 2015.
Commenting on European Shipping Week, Mr Schultz said: “The aim of the initiative, namely to bring together the leading members of the shipping industry of the EU and give them an opportunity to meet, debate and share experiences is welcomed by the European Parliament. Inviting the members of the EU policymaking bodies and presenting to them the practical side of the shipping industry can only lead to a better mutual understanding and contribute to the promotion and competitiveness of European maritime transport.”
Mr Schultz has been invited as a keynote speaker at the European Shipping Week’s opening ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday 3 March, 2015 in the European Parliament.
News of the European Parliament’s patronage follows recent similar comments by the outgoing European Transport Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission Siim Kallas who voiced his strong support for the launch of European Shipping Week, claiming it will help to raise the profile of shipping in Brussels “and allow for a good interaction between its multiple players and decision makers”.
In a letter to Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Commissioner Kallas said there was no doubt that Europe needed a high quality shipping sector “that can compete around the world.” Maritime transport is a cornerstone of European industry, he said, playing an essential role in Europe’s economy.