ESPO Conference 2022 - Energy, climate and geopolitics high on the agenda: meet the two top speakers you do not want to miss

03 May 2022

On 2 and 3 June the ESPO Conference will be gathering Europe’s ports, their stakeholders, and community, as well as EU policymakers and academics, in Valencia. The theme of the conference is  “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 Russian invasion 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.

To set the scene on these topics, we are happy to welcome two top speakers.

On Thursday 2 June, Dr. David CRIEKEMANS, Associate Professor in International Politics at the University of Antwerp, will give a keynote speech on the Energy transition in an age of fundamental geopolitical change. He will explore the role of ports as energy hubs of the future, and will discuss these matters from the perspective of the concept of the 'geo-technical ensemble' by Daniel Deudney, changing supply lines, the natural resources that will be needed to 'power' energy transition, as well as the limitations and challenges linked to the current geopolitical power struggles around the world.


On the second day of the Conference, Friday 3 June, Mark VANHEUKELEN, 'Hors Classe' Adviser and Ambassador at Large for Climate Diplomacy at the European Commission, will explore how we can reconcile the climate ambition and a strong European economy.


On top of these two top speakers, you will find many more experts and high-level speakers in the programme of this two-day event, available at

After more than two years online, a real breakout session at the end of day one, as well as the usual conference dinner on 2 June will offer excellent opportunities for networking, and that in the unique setting of Valencia’s City of Art and Science

Join us for this annual highlight of the European port industry! Register now at before you regret it!

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