CIRCLE ha sostenuto l’organizzazione del seminario congiunto organizzato dai coordinatori europei TEN-T Motorways of the Sea, dei Corridoi “Atlantic” and “North Sea-Mediterranean” in cooperazione con l’Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) a Dublino lo scorso 16-17 aprile.

On April 16th and 17th, TEN-T coordinators for Motorways of the Sea, the Atlantic and North Sea-Mediterranean Corridors in cooperation with the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) met at the Convention Centre in Dublin for a two-days joint seminar to discuss about Ireland’s European Connectivity- ports and maritime links in the Atlantic Sea basin.

The seminar, which is the first event of its kind, attracted more than 100 distinguished participants. The first day was opened by Graham Doyle, Secretary General of the Department of Transport and was followed by two thematic sessions:

  • Maritime connections in the Atlantic Sea: current situation and future modelling of transport flows (Session I chaired by Motorways of the Sea coordinator Kurt Bodewig) aimed at learning about the ongoing trends in maritime traffic in the Atlantic Sea basin and how they will be impacted by European developments (such as Brexit) and by wider discussions such as the entry into force of the 2020 Sulphur cap, and the decarbonisation of shipping.
  • Connectivity of Ireland in the context of Brexit: challenge or opportunity? (session II chaired by Prof. Péter Balázs, European Coordinator for the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor) aimed at exploring the practical measures, already taken or planned, by industry in preparation of Brexit, posing the question of whether the different stakeholders perceive a strategic threat or an opportunity for their business.

During Day 1, Alexio Picco, Managing Director of Circle, gave his presentation titled Global supply chain visibility: the international fast trade lane concept as a supporting tool for connectivity

During day 2, Pat Cox, former president of the European Parliament, summarised his impression of the first day. As stressed by Cox, Ireland is in an island nation with a long maritime tradition and an open and booming economy. Brexit, especially if disorderly, has the potential to disrupt Ireland’s main sectors (agriculture and food). Ports have prepared, but measures have not been stress-tested yet. They will experience difficulties and there will be long-term consequences on the supply chain. Ireland then needs to get its strategic head together and discuss what priorities that new CEF and TEN-T need to address.

As highlighted by Pat Cox, indeed,

We are fully engaged in Europe and we must never allow ourselves to get into a peripherality state of mind. [..] Peripherality should never be our state of mind.” Indeed, “We are connected digitally, we are connected through commerce, business, education, government, institutions” [..] “We stand in a small country that can be at the centre of the universe of our own creation. And the universe creation is built on the pillars of connectivity”.

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