The European Sea Ports Organisation calls on European governments to strengthen the port ecosystem

The general assembly of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) is meeting this afternoon in the Clock Building of the Port of Valencia

The ESPO Conference begins tomorrow at the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, bringing together more than 200 heads of the main European port facilities, institutions and administrations to discuss the potential of Europe’s ports

The Assembly of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) is meeting this afternoon in the Clock Building of the Port of Valencia to debate the Valencia Declaration which highlights the fundamental work of the European ports in the empowerment of Europe and their contribution to the fight against climate change, the development of the cities and economic activity.

Amongst the main ideas of this Declaration, ESPO has advanced that: “The European seaports have played a strategic and essential role throughout the last crises. Ports are key partners for the future sustainability and resilience of Europe and are more necessary than ever”. Therefore, the European ports organisation asks that: “To intensify this role and to give full recognition to their crucial contribution to the decarbonisation and strengthening of Europe, ESPO calls on governments to enhance the European port ecosystem at all levels. In addition to the full recognition of the essential work that ports play”.

The ESPO assembly also calls for: “In addition to the financial and non-financial support necessary for ports to be robust and resilient in pursuing their strategies, as well as continuing on their paths of decarbonisation and empowering Europe, continued and urgent investments are needed to safeguard and further improve critical port infrastructures. Investments are also needed to optimise maritime and hinterland connectivity of ports so that they remain essential nodes in the supply chain, ensuring the mobility of people and strategic actors in the new energy landscape”.

ESPO, an organisation created in Brussels in 1993 of which the European ports are members, ensures that the seaports have a clear voice in the European Union. ESPO represents the common interests and promotes the common views and values of its members to the European institutions and their policy makers. Today its assembly has met to draw up the Valencia Declaration which will be presented in full after the meeting they are holding in the Clock Building.

In addition, ESPO is holding its annual conference tomorrow in the capital of the Turia, an event which brings together more than 200 decision-makers from the main European ports, institutions and administrations to discuss the potential of the ports of Europe. A forum for analysis and debate on the challenges of the European port system marked by the world health crisis that has passed or the geopolitical situation with situations such as the Russian invasion of the Ukraine or the energy uncertainties. An environment that requires agile and conflict-resistant ports that guarantee the supply of raw materials and goods, and at the same time, committed to sustainability and decarbonisation.

The event will be inaugurated by the President of Puertos del Estado, Álvaro Rodríguez, the Councillor for Territorial Policy, Public Works and Mobility, Rebeca Torró, the President of ESPO, Annaleena MÄKILÄ, and the President of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), Aurelio Martínez. During the two days of the conference, which is being held at the City of Arts and Sciences, there will be various round tables and presentations by leading international experts in maritime transport.