Special Edition ESPO 2013 Conference – Varna, 30-31 May 2013
Co-operative Synergies at the Heart of ESPO 2013 Conference
Ports compete, but they also co-operate. The ESPO 2013 Conference will explore the various synergies that ports can develop together.
Dedicated sessions will look at possibilities to set up joint hinterland infrastructure projects, explore ways how to market port regions and analyse international strategies of port authorities. The latter session promises to be quite unique, comparing the rationale and experience of Europe’s two largest ports, Rotterdam and Antwerp, which set up dedicated subsidiaries to invest in ports at other ends of the globe. The findings of all these sessions will be discussed by a panel of CEOs from some of the leading European port authorities.
Varna Set to Have First Debate on Forthcoming EU Ports Policy Measures
Will the new EU ports policy measures be issued before the Varna conference? Preparations for the legislative proposal and communication of the European Commission are still on schedule, so there is a fair chance that the ESPO 2013 Conference will be the first industry platform to discuss them. But even if the timing would differ, conference delegates will be able to get a ‘sneak preview’ of the concrete measures the Commission has prepared on market access, transparency and coordination. Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas will deliver the main keynote speech of the conference and the team of DG Move will be present to elaborate the forthcoming policy framework. Philippe De Backer, Member of the European Parliament for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), and a panel of sector representatives will give their first views on the way forward. Professor Hercules Haralambides of the Erasmus University Rotterdam will guide the debate.
EMSA Executive Director to Join Former Port Colleagues
ESPO was very happy to see its former Executive Committee member Markku Mylly taking on the lead of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) last summer. Mr Mylly will join his former European port colleagues in Varna, where he will provide the closing keynote speech of the first conference day. EMSA is working on a number of port-related issues, such as procedures for LNG bunkering, the revision of the EU port reception facilities’ Directive and the development of e-Maritime. Mr Mylly’s keynote address will thus provide quite some food for thought.
Senior Economists to Discuss Outlook for Europe, Shipping and Ports
Europe keeps struggling with one of its worst financial and economic crises ever. Sylviane Delcuve, Senior Economist at BNP Fortis Bank, will explain the mechanics behind the crisis, future expectations and the implications for global trade. Her insights will be complemented by Jamie Simpson, Vice-President at ICF international, and Prof Theo Notteboom, President of the Institute of Transport and Maritime Management Antwerp (ITMMA), who will respectively address the specific economic outlooks for shipping and ports.
Special Interest Seminar on Regional Co-operation in the Black Sea
Preceding the start of the actual conference, a special interest seminar will be held Thursday morning on regional co-operation in the Black Sea. The seminar marks the first ESPO event ever in the ‘youngest’ region of the European Union. Experts will outline trends in Black Sea port development, focusing on the container and cruise markets and the potential for LNG bunkering in the region. Their presentations will be followed by a panel discussion on the state-of-the-art of Black Sea ports, moderated by Patrick Uyttendaele, Director at MTBS consultants.
Bulgarian Hospitality at its Best
the balchik palaceThe team at Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company, who host the conference, have prepared a unique social programme. The conference dinner will be held at Kabakum Resort. This not only promises to be the gastronomical highlight of the conference, but will also bring an evening full of entertainment and music by the sea. The closing lunch of the conference will be held at the Varna passenger terminal, to be followed by a boat tour of the port. Accompanying partners will be treated to a visit of Balchik Palace. The Palace is the former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria of Edinburgh and was constructed between 1926 and 1937, during the Romanian control of the region. The Palace is a designated archaeological and cultural site as well as a monument of gardening and landscaping. Finally, guests will be able to partake in an optional evening tour to visit the Aladja monastery, one of the many medieval rock monasteries found in the north-eastern part of Bulgaria. The sightseeing tour will be followed by a unique show, reviving the history of the monastery and the Varna region through light effects, music and film impressions.
Meliá Hotel Grand Hermitage: A Five-Star Venue on the Black Sea
The ESPO 2013 Conference will be held at the Meliá Hotel Grand Hermitage. This five-star hotel and resort belongs to the well-known Spanish chain of luxury hotels. It is one of the largest properties in Bulgaria, located in Golden Sands, directly on the Black Sea, on a quiet hillside. It is surrounded by lush green terraces and has direct access to the beach. Our Bulgarian hosts managed to negotiate extremely sharp prices, which makes an extended stay in Varna a very tempting option! Bookings can be made directly through the conference website.
Book Your Flights to Varna
Now to Benefit from Interesting Offers bulgariaair End of May is the start of the tourist season in Bulgaria, which means several charter operators run direct flights to Varna. But these tend to sell out quickly, so we recommend that you book your flight now, to ensure an easy connection at a good price. If charters are not your thing, then go for Bulgaria Air or Austrian Airlines which operate regular flights from Sofia and Vienna respectively. These two cities have direct connections with most European airports. An overview of flight possibilities is available from the conference website.