On 6 May 2022, EFIP members gathered in Galati (Romania) for their annual General Assembly meeting. The meeting was hosted by the Union of Romanian Inland Ports (UPIR).
During the General Assembly meeting, EFIP members elected unanimously Antoine Berbain as the new President of EFIP. Mr. Berbain took over the position from Friedrich Lehr, who was thanked for his appreciated work and service as President between 2019 and 2022. Mr. Lehr, Managing Director of the Port of Vienna, will remain on the Presidency together with Carmen Costache, President of the Romanian Inland Ports Union, Uwe Köhn, Director of the Port of Mannheim, Florian Röhtlingshöfer, Director of the Port of Switzerland, and Rainier Reekmans, General Director a.i. of the Port of Brussels.
Antoine Berbain is delegated CEO in charge of HAROPA PORT territorial direction of Paris and of the Multimodality project. Antoine Berbain began his career in the Pas-de-Calais and Loire-Atlantique Equipment departmental directions. He successively managed a technical design office for local authorities, specialised in the development of business parks, and a territorial subdivision in charge of urban planning, road infrastructures and advice to local authorities in the Nantes area. He then led the studies for the declaration of public utility of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, and joined Voies Navigables de France as head of the waterways technical department, in charge of the programme to modernise the infrastructures of the Seine basin. In 2010, Antoine Berbain joined the port world, as Director of the Development of the Ports of Paris. In 2014, he became delegated CEO of GIE HAROPA (economic interest grouping of the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris), in charge of strategy, commercial prospection, multimodal development and communication. In March 2020, he was appointed CEO of HAROPA – Ports of Paris. On 1 June 2021, Antoine Berbain took up his post at the territorial direction of Paris, within the new “Seine axis major river/seaport” which brings together the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris into a single establishment. In this capacity, he is appointed member of the HAROPA PORT management board.
Following his appointment as the new President of EFIP, Antoine Berbain said: “It is a privilege to have been chosen as the President of the European Federation of Inland Ports. Inland ports form the heart of the European green logistics network. We are multimodal hubs that bring together the most efficient and sustainable types of transport. At the same time, we are expanding our roles as energy and circular economy hubs as well. In that way we help enable the green transition and achieve the European Green Deal. I am looking forward to pushing this and the other EFIP priorities in the coming years.”
The General Assembly meeting was followed by a Panel Discussion on “The Place of Inland Ports in the European Network”, with MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu, Ms Roxana Lesovici, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Valean in charge of maritime portfolio, Mr Friedrich Lehr, Port of Vienna, Mr George Boga, Port Bazinul Nou Galati, and Ms Silvia Albu, Port Romanel Braila.
Finnish Port Association joins EFIP
During the General Assembly, EFIP members also welcomed a new member, the Finnish Port Association (FPA).
The Finnish Port Association brings the position of Finnish port authorities to decision making in Finland and the EU. FPA represents ports in cargo as well as passenger traffic.
The membership of FPA consists of 29 sea and inland ports. The members of FPA are both general as well as industrial ports. Since 2015 port authorities in Finland operate as corporate companies who develop infrastructure and provide port services to their customers. Port companies have strengthened their role as the primary actor of the whole industrial and logistical area at the port.
Over 95 percent of the whole Finnish seaborne export and import is transported through FPA’s member ports. Also the role of passenger ports is important within the work of the association. The inland port are located at Saimaa Lake Area and are connected to Baltic Sea and Finnish Gulf via Saimaa Channel.
FPA is an industry NGO founded in 1923, based in Helsinki. The FPA staff of four is engaged in networking and lobby to promote the competitiveness of Finnish sea and inland ports.