European Maritime Day 2010: a genuine stakeholders' event kicks off in Gijon, Spain

Source: European Commission (EC) i, published on Tuesday, May 18 2010.

European Maritime Day is celebrated every year on 20 May. This year, Gijon will host the European Maritime Day Stakeholder Conference from 18 - 21 May. The event, which is now in its third edition, brings together stakeholders interested in maritime affairs from around Europe. European Maritime Day was set up as a central event of the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy, launched in 2007. It aims to contribute to a new culture of cross-sectoral and cross-policy dialogue through strengthened stakeholder involvement, networking, and exchange of best practices. At this year's conference, more than 1250 participants will take part in a vast array of conferences, debates and specialised workshops to discuss state-of-the-art maritime tools and policies. Alongside Ministers and personalities from Spain and other countries, Commissioners Maria Damanaki (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Janez Potocnik (Environment) will attend, and Commission President José Manuel Barroso will address the conference by video-link. Spain's Prince Filipe de Borbón, Prince of Asturias, will attend the conference on 20 May. In parallel to the central events in Gijon, over 40 maritime events will take place across Europe around 20 May.

This year's edition of European Maritime Day is centred around the key theme of innovation. It is organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Principality of Asturias and the Spanish Presidency of the Council.

More than 1250 participants from 14 Member States and 10 other countries have registered for the conference. The agenda includes over 50 workshops focusing on the main strategic directions of the Integrated Maritime Policy today, and in particular on sustainable economic growth, employment and innovation, cross-cutting policy tools, sustainability and the governance of sea basins.

Alongside the conference, there will be a large exhibition area where stakeholders will hold stands and exhibitions bringing a wide variety of maritime issues and activities to the public's attention.

European Maritime Day, officially proclaimed in a tripartite declaration by the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on 20 May 20081 aims to raise awareness of maritime stakeholders and the general public on the added value of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. The annual Stakeholder Conference is a genuine platform for strengthened stakeholder involvement, networking, and exchange of best practices.

By creating links and building bridges between the various disciplines, further developments in maritime policy can be encouraged and the visibility of maritime Europe can be increased. The central event in Gijón aims to contribute to a new culture of cross-sectoral and cross-policy dialogue as the one advocated by the Integrated Maritime Policy. The previous editions of European Maritime Day were held in Brussels and Rome in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

The Integrated Maritime Policy of the European Union was conceived in 2007 but has developed quickly since then. Through its overarching view on the maritime and costal economy, rather than a fragmented and compartmentalised view, the Integrated Maritime Policy stresses the overall importance of maritime sectors for sustainable growth and employment in Europe. It focuses political attention on coastal regions and maritime sectors, and facilitates innovation, new synergies and greater coherence of action. The Integrated Maritime Policy has led to the development of new instruments for integrated governance, both in relation to policy-making and to implementation.

For all details on the conference and the complete programme, please visit:

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