#ESPO2016 - The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) is inviting its members, policy makers and stakeholders to join in the 13th edition of its annual conference, which will be hosted by the Dublin Port Company at The Printworks in Dublin Castle on 2-3 June 2016.
The 2016 ESPO Conference, moderated by broadcaster Claire Byrne, will look into ways to improve the efficiency of maritime transport and ports from different angles.
The first session will focus on the different barriers to the internal market for maritime transport. As maritime policy is at the top of the 2017 European Commission agenda, the ESPO conference aims at preparing the ground for this important year for the maritime and port sector and at feeding further discussions.
Is there a digital agenda for ports? Is there a role for policy? How can ports utilise 'big data' to their benefit? Are we ready to open up the flow of data? How to protect ports against risks of cybercrime? All these questions will be tackled in the second session.
The third session will address the issue of 'game changers' and possible 'game stoppers' when it comes to easing trade. The conference will investigate how TTIP, the trade agreement under negotiation with the US, could possibly benefit ports, on both sides of the Atlantic.
The conference will further zoom into the Chinese 'One Belt, One Road' policy and assess how it might affect European port-hinterland dynamics, as well as the possible impact of a 'Brexit' for UK and neighbouring ports, and how temporary border controls are impacting the European transport and logistics chain.
As usual the conference will close with a policy debate where high-level EU policy makers will present their views on the issues discussed during the conference and enter into a final debate with port authorities.
DG MOVE’s director general Henrik Hololei; Mark Frequin, representing the Dutch Presidency of the Council of Europe; and Pat Cox, former president of the European Parliament and TEN-T coordinator for the Scan-Med Corridor are getting prepared for this session. MEP Knut Fleckenstein will address the conference at the end of day one.
On 3 June, American top economist and influential thinker Jeremy Rifkin will give a keynote address on the theme of 'a Third Industrial Revolution and a Zero Marginal Cost Society'.
The first day's conference sessions will be followed by the Admiral’s Ball, a gala black tie evening celebrating the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s honorary Admiralty of Dublin Port.
The event also launches the Dublin Port Riverfest with a sophisticated evening of fine dining and premium entertainment promised for a guest list of Dublin’s premier business hub and international conference delegates.