Last call for the ESPO Conference on 1 and 2 June 2017: Book now! Barcelona is waiting for you!

17 May 2017

On 1 and 2 June, the European Sea Ports Organisation is gathering for the 14th edition of its Annual conference.  More than 200 participants are already joining us but registrations are still open.

For the late deciders, herewith a short overview of what to expect:

During this year’s Conference, ESPO will open the debate on what are probably the most challenging problems of today:

  • The changing climate: How to become a low-carbon port? How much time do we need for the energy transition? Are European ports and their infrastructure prepared for the storm? How far can a port authority go in enforcing low-carbon engagement?
  • The changing world: Will the changing economic and political leadership impact European port business? Will upcoming economic nationalism be a real game changer? How disruptive can new trade barriers be for ports? Is the business model of European ports changing? How to look in this context at alliances and mergers between shipping lines, logistic operators and terminal operators? Should ports follow the example of their customers and join forces? Is the role of the port authority changing?

These challenging issues will be addressed by a series of high-level experts and engaged speakers (*).

One of these engaged speakers is, without doubt, Jonathan Holslag. Jonathan is a professor of international politics, guest lecturer at the NATO Defense College, as well as several other military academies and advises the first Vice-President of the European Commission and works on geo-economics for different member states. He will outline the main geopolitical developments and will reflect on how ports in Europe should be responding to current and upcoming political and economic challenges.

Professor Jonathan Holslag

For the first time, we will have the opportunity to welcome the EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc at our conference. Being almost halfway the EU Maritime Year, the Commissioner will give us an insight on the priorities for this year and hopefully share with us what is to be further expected. She will also enter in the debate with the ports.

ESPO conferences are indeed more than listening to a series of speeches. ESPO conferences seek for the real debate, where panellists enter in an active exchange of views with different port authorities.  More than 20 port managers have lined up for these debates.

The 2017 ESPO conference will also mark the 20th anniversary of the EcoPorts network. What started in 1997 as an environmental initiative of a number of proactive ports has developed into a professional network of around 100 ports. This anniversary will mark the relaunch of EcoPorts services: the updated EcoPorts website, the new look and feel and new tools will be presented at the conference. 

Moreover, after all these editions, needless to say that the ESPO conference is more than just another conference. The last word is not said when the last speakers say “thank you for your attention”. Lunches and dinners offer delegates plenty of good opportunities to network and liaise with port authorities and maritime stakeholders from all over Europe.  

Finally, is there a better place to gather for a conference in June than wonderful Barcelona? The ESPO conference will take place in the World Trade Center, nicely located at the seafront and within a stone’s throw from the Ramblas.

The World Trade Center in Barcelona

All details about the programme and registration can be found on the ESPO Conference Website. Time is running: hurry up and grasp one of these last seats and join us for this 14th edition of the ESPO conference!

Are you not convinced yet or do you need further help with your booking: call Hélène Vancompernolle at ESPO: +32 2 736 34 63 or via mail:

(*) Confirmed speakers are:

Josep RULL, Catalan Minister of Transport; Matthew BALDWIN, Deputy Director General of DG MOVE, European Commission; Alan MURPHY, CEO and Partner, SeaIntel Maritime Analysis; Tim POWER, Managing Director, Drewry; Alvaro RODRÍGUEZ DE SANABRIA, The Climate Reality Project, Europe Branch, Regional Coordinator; Laurence GRAFF, Head of Unit, DG CLIMA, European Commission; Dario BOCCHETTI, Energy Manager, Grimaldi; Sergio BARBARINO, Research Fellow of Procter & Gamble Research & Development organization and Chairman of ALICE, the EU Innovation Platform for Logistics; Clemens Schneider, M.A., Research Fellow Future Energy and Mobility Structures, Wuppertal Institute; Tom WOOD, BSc (Hons) MSc CEnv C.WEM; Chris TRELAWNY, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Maritime Security and Facilitation, IMO; Rosa MARI DARBRA, Associate Professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia; Prof Robert NICHOLLS, Tyndall Centre for Climate change Research; Frank VERSCHRAEGEN, Project Manager Energy & Blue Growth, DEME; Ewald BREUNESSE, Manager Energy Transition Shell The Netherlands; Tom SCHELTJENS, Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank; David WHITEHEAD, OBE; Dr. Christopher WOOLDRIDGE, Science Coordinator, EcoPorts; Sotiris RAPTIS, EcoPorts Coordinator and Senior Advisor, ESPO; Frans DE KRUIF, Lead Assessor, Project Specialist, Lloyd's Register; Olaf MERK, Ports and shipping expert of the International Transport Forum at the OECD; Jonathan HOLSLAG, Professor; Dirk STERCKX, former journalist and former Member of the European Parliament; Merja KYLLÖNEN, Member of the European Parliament; Ramon TREMOSA, Member of the European Parliament; Violeta BULC, EU Commissioner for Transport; Knut FLECKENSTEIN, Member of the European Parliament.

These port prepresentatives are getting ready for the debates:

Eamonn O'REILLY, CEO, Port of Dublin and ESPO Chairman; Sixte CAMBRA I SÁNCHEZ, President, Port of Barcelona; Edvard MOLITOR, Senior Manager Environment, Port of Gothenburg, Chairman Sustainable Development Committee, ESPO; Dragomir MATIC, President of the Management Board, Port of Koper and President of NAPA; Roger SCHJERVA, Head of the Board, Port of Oslo; Francesco Maria DI MAJO, President, Port of Rome; Christine CABAU, CEO, Port of Marseille ; Gisli GISLASON, Port Director, Associated Icelandic Ports; José Luis HORMAECHEA ESCOS, Managing Director, Port of Algeciras Bay; Joachim COENS, Managing Director, Port of Zeebrugge; Patrick KEATING, CEO Shannon Foynes Port Company; Carlos BOTANA LAGARON, Head sustainability Department, Port of Vigo; Dr. Matthäus WUCZKOWSKI, Head of Sustainability Management, Niedersachsen Ports; Chryssanthi  KONTOGIORGI, Head of Environmental Protection Department, Port of Piraeus; Clemence Cheng, Divisional Head, Hutchison Westports Limited; Jens MEIER, Managing Director, Hamburg Port Authority; Victor SCHOENMAKERS, Director Corporate Strategy, Port of Rotterdam; Jacques VANDERMEIREN, CEO, Port of Antwerp; Santiago GARCIA-MILÀ, Deputy Executive Director, Port of Barcelona; Daan SCHALCK, CEO, Port of Ghent; Paolo Emilio SIGNORINI, President Ports of Genoa & Savona.

Related documents

No attachments.