Second edition of the ESPO Workshop for small ports is again a success
On 20 March, ESPO invited representatives of small comprehensive ports and non-TEN-T ports for a one-day workshop in Brussels under the title “Not a TEN-T core port? What’s in it for you?”.
The objective of the workshop was to explore in which way EU legislation impacts small ports and whether it recognises their constricted administrative capacity, which funding opportunities and initiatives exist at EU level and what the benefits are of joining initiatives and programmes at European level.
Over 35 representatives of European ports and port associations participated in the workshop, discussing the particular challenges for small ports and exchanging ideas and good practices.
Very informative presentations were given in the morning session by DG MOVE on the application of the Port Services Regulation to small ports, by representatives of ‘Motorways of the Sea’ (MoS) about the concept of MoS and its funding possibilities for small ports, and by INEA on the Connecting Europe Facility instrument and the evaluation processes for submitted projects.
In the afternoon session, DG MARE presented the Commission’s Blue Growth strategy and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Wim Stubbe (Port of Ostend) shared his experience with EU funding using the example of the Interreg ‘Dual Ports’ project and the ESPO secretariat gave a brief overview of funding possibilities for ports within the Horizon 2020 and the Interreg programmes.
The last session of the day focused on EcoPorts and the digital data platform, which is currently in development, as two examples of ESPO’s own initiatives which are relevant for ports of all sizes.
Not only did the workshop successfully transmit valuable information, but it also gave the participants the opportunity to network, to exchange their experiences and to learn from each other.