ESPO’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Every year, one of ESPO’s member ports hosts the annual conference. Following 16 successful editions, ESPO’s annual conference has become a meeting point for European port industry and transport policy makers. The conference features very high quality speakers, allows for open debates on topics that are high on the ports’ agenda and includes multiple networking events in beautiful settings. It is a unique opportunity for industry, stakeholders and European political scene to meet, discuss and learn from each other.

The 18th edition of the ESPO Conference took place on 2-3 June 2022 in Valencia, kindly hosted by the Port Authority of Valencia.

The theme of this year's edition was "Empowering Europe's ports". 

Europe’s ports are no longer operating in a societal, commercial, and geopolitical safe and stable environment as we have known during the last decades. The global health crisis we went through over the last two years and the war in Ukraine we are experiencing at the moment require ports to be agile and resilient at all times. At the same time, challenged by the upcoming multipolar world, Europe is trying to achieve strategic autonomy, thereby safeguarding a stable trade and economic environment and ensuring the security of supply of critical raw materials and goods. With realities changing overnight, it becomes increasingly difficult to make long-term investment plans and strategies. This disruptive societal, commercial, and geopolitical environment comes also at a time where ports are setting course to realise Europe’s ambition and prepare for a carbon-neutral and digitally smart future.

How can ports prepare today for the world of tomorrow? Which role are Europe’s ports to play in the supply chains of tomorrow? How will the trade patterns evolve? How will the new energy landscape impact port infrastructure and spatial planning? Is the current energy crisis a catalyst of the green transition or a game stopper? In short, how to empower Europe’s ports and how can ports empower Europe’s economy and society? 

These are some of the questions addressed at the ESPO Conference. As usual, the Conference featured a series of top speakers and experts, but also offered an excellent platform for discussions and exchanges between port professionals, port stakeholders, academics, and EU policy makers.

The programme, speakers, and registration are available at www.espo-conference.com



To consult the pictures and presentations of previous editions, click here

Pictures and speakers' presentations of previous editions Speakers' presentations 2022 Pictures 2022

ESPO AWARD

To promote the efforts made by different European ports to enhance the city port relations through innovative projects, ESPO decided in 2009 to give out an annual ESPO award on Social Integration of Ports. After the two first editions, it was decided to focus each year on one different aspect of social integration. 

The themes addressed so far are: Creative Strategies to Communicate the Port to the Wider Public (2011), Youth (2012), Heritage (2013), Innovative Environmental Projects (2014), Relationship with Schools and Universities (2015), Nature in Ports (2016), Art and Cultural involvement of the port (2017), Ports as a good work environment for everyone (2018), Transparency and the role of social media in reaching out to the local community (2019), and Enhancing the port-city relationship by encouraging innovators and local start-ups to be part of the port ecosystem (2020).

The 2022 theme is ‘Role of maritime passenger transport in enhancing the city connectivity and bringing added value to the local community’.

Ports in Europe welcome each year hundreds of millions of passengers, either as travellers, tourists or commuters. In many places, the maritime link ensures the main connection of the city with cities in other countries or with the mainland. Europe’s ports hence play an important role in making it possible for people to visit many beautiful port cities in Europe and discover their cultural and historical heritage. At the same time ferries connect ports in different or the same countries or even parts of a city, and enhance the sustainable connectivity of these cities.

The ESPO Award 2022 will go to the port managing body which has developed a series of initiatives and/or a strategy in collaboration with the different stakeholders and the city to enhance the maritime passenger links and the connectivity within the city or with other cities and regions of Europe, be it for its own citizens or for allowing visitors from all over the world to visit and discover the city and bring added value to the local community. The role of the port in enhancing the connectivity through a smooth and friendly passage through the port in and out of the city, as well as efforts of the port to give visitors a first good impression of the city or region are important criteria. Environmental and social sustainability of the project or strategy will be a prerequisite for winning the ESPO Award 2022. 

Project submissions have to reach the ESPO Secretariat by Friday 8 July 2022 at the latest. To submit your project, please use the dedicated application form and go through the terms of reference.



WINNERS OF THE ESPO AWARD

  • 2009 Port of Gijón (Spain) | Gijón Port & City Together 
    Special mentions: port of Genoa (Italy) Genoa Port Center –Breaking Down the “Social Distancing” of the Port.  Port of Ghent (Belgium) Project Ghent Canal Zone -Working Together on the Sustainable Development of the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal Zone
  • 2010 Port of Helsinki (Finland) | Port as Part of the City
  • 2011 Ports of Stockholm (Sweden) | Hamnvision 2015 (Portvision 2015)
  • 2012 Port of Genoa (Italy) | Citizens of the Port – Knowing and Living the Port of Genoa
  • 2013 Port of Antwerp (Belgium) | Heritage: The Breadcrumb Trail between City and Port
  • 2014 Port of Koper | No waste, just ressources
  • 2015 Port of Dublin (Ireland) | Port Communities Educational Support Programme 
    Special mention for Port of Guadeloupe Discovering my port
  • 2016 bremenports (Germany) LUNEPLATE 
  • 2017 Guadeloupe Port Caraïbes (France) | Port’Art  
  • 2018 Port of Rotterdam Authority (The Netherlands) | The Port of Rotterdam creates a good working environment for everyone
  • 2019 Port of Dover (United Kingdom)Transparen-SEA (Socially Engaged Accountability)
  • 2020 Algeciras Port Authority (Spain) | The Journey of Innovation - Traversía de la Innovación
  • 2021 Port of Gdańsk Authority | WE ARE – unification of local community of Gdańsk’s districts Nowy Port and Stogi with its old neighbour, the sea port
ESPO Award Brochure 2021 Pictures ESPO Award Ceremony 2021 Winner 2021 Booklets with previous submitted projects