Brussels, 13 May 2014
European Maritime Day 2014: Innovating for a sustainable use of our oceans
Innovation and research in the maritime economy can drive a European growth and jobs recovery whilst securing a sustainable future for Europe's seas, oceans, and all those whose livelihoods depend on them. That is the focus of this year's European Maritime Day held in Bremen, Germany, on 19-20 May which will host an exchange of ideas between experts, stakeholders from all maritime sectors and policy makers from across the EU.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and co-host of the event, Maria Damanaki, said: "Europe's economy is still in choppy waters and we have a duty to maximise every drop of potential to help its recovery. Our seas and oceans have this potential in abundance. We are committed to exploring how best they can help us create jobs and growth – but in a way that does not compromise on our ecosystems. The European Maritime Day is an occasion for the maritime community to discuss how to make sure that growth and sustainability go hand in hand in the blue economy".
The European Commission's Blue Growth agenda seeks to make sustainability the cornerstone for maritime growth, and will therefore be at the heart of the discussions in Bremen. Set against a backdrop of recent announcements by the EU on Blue Innovation (IP/14/536), Maritime Spatial Planning (IP/14/459), coastal and maritime tourism (IP/14/171) and ocean energy (IP/14/36), the event will bring together each sector of the maritime economy to discuss how they can co-operate, share insights, and make sustainable growth a reality.
Commissioner Damanaki will be joined in Bremen by Mr Alexander Dobrindt, German Federal Minister for Transport, and Digital Infrastructure, Mr Jens Böhrnsen, President of the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Mr Martin Günthner, Senator of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, as well as other European ministers and personalities at the two day Conference.
With 21 workshops organised by stakeholders, two plenary sessions with keynote speakers, high-level sessions, a special exhibition on maritime issues, public happenings and an innovative networking event, the conference will be a hub of debate and sharing of best practice across the two days.
The City of Bremen will kick off the European Maritime Day by celebrations along the banks of the river Weser on 18 May, with live music events, exhibitions of research institutes, visits to research ships, family events and other festivities. All the public events as well as the European Maritime Day Conference are free of charge and open to the public.
The 7th edition of the European Maritime Day Conference is organised by the European Commission in partnership with the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The theme for this year's conference is "Innovation driving Blue Growth".
European Maritime Day was created by a tripartite declaration by the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on 20 May 2008. It is celebrated every year on and around 20 May and aims to raise the visibility of Maritime Europe. The previous editions of European Maritime Day were held in Brussels (2008), Rome (2009), Gijon (2010), Gdansk (2011), Gothenburg (2012) and Valetta (2013) respectively.