Press Release – European Network of Maritime Clusters – October 16, 2018
The European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) held its annual meeting in Malta on October 15-16, 2018. Representatives of the national maritime clusters of Malta, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Lithuania met on Malta to discuss the future of the ENMC, the impact of Brexit on both European and national maritime affairs, and the importance of pan-European cooperation in stimulating the development of maritime human capital.
The two-day conference focused discussion, as well as on introducing Malta as maritime nation. With its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta has long emphasized its maritime importance. Beginning in Roman and Medieval times, Malta now is one of the most important Mediterranean transit hubs, with direct lines to Northern Africa, Italy, and the rest of Europe. The visit to the Maltese maritime museum provided sound illustration of Malta’s maritime nature.
During the meeting on October 16, 2017, the newly elected Presidium set out is ambitions for the Networks future; a platform of national maritime clusters focused on cooperation in the field of both bilateral, as well as European maritime affairs in projects, and national cluster’s direct point of contact to the European field. The departure of the United Kingdom – Brexit – is discussed during the meeting as to have major impact on both maritime fields; the European as well as on the national level. To stress the importance of clear heads, and to underline the importance of a Brexit-deal by the end of 2018, the conference unanimously adopted a statement stressing Brexit’s impact on the members, as well as on the European maritime ecosystem as a whole.
The European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) is established in the early 2000s as a platform for networking, and the exchange of information among various European member states’ national maritime clusters. Recently, the ENMC has grown itself into a more active role, creating partnerships and cooperation amongst its members, focused on human capital, innovation, and the stimulation of cooperation in maritime affairs.