Ukrainian Maritime Cluster for the first time at the European Shipping Summit and in the European Parliament

With the support of the EU4BUSINESS program, representatives of the Public Union “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster” (hereafter PU “UMC”) took part in the European Shipping Summit and met with the leaders of international non-governmental organizations of the European Union representing the maritime industry.

On September 19-20, the European Shipping Summit was held in Brussels (Belgium), in which Artem Vashchylenko, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster and Olena Zhukova, the Executive Director of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster, had the honor of participating.

The two-day event included industry sessions, networking opportunities and high-level dialogues with European and international politicians, regulators and stakeholders.

The key topics were: environment, human, industry.

The European norms regarding the decarbonization of the maritime industry and the ecological transition became an issue that caused active discussions, taking into account the importance of the maritime complex and its one of the key roles in innovation processes, trade and sustainability of the European economic sector.

To be a member of the European Union is not only to have common holidays and festivals, it is primarily the harmonization of legislation at all levels. In the EU, the process of legislative regulation of decarbonization processes continues, which means a certain burden on the maritime industry. Those enterprises and shipowners who do not agree with the new conditions are in search of new ports, economic chains and generally adapt. Ukraine, as a potential member of the EU, is currently on the way to forming a Shipping Strategy, and therefore, it is particularly important for us to be familiar with all aspects of the European maritime industry. This will give us the opportunity to take into account, among other things, norms regarding the decarbonization of the industry when forming the main programs and other documents. We must be conscious of and adhere to the norms of European legislation in the maritime sector, including the European Green Deal – said Artem Vashchylenko, Head of the Supervisory Board of the PU “UMC”.

However, it is worth noting that the European Union has taken into account the potential need for innovation in the sector and has provided record grant funding of €2 billion from the Maritime Innovation Fund to InvestEU, the Connecting Europe Facility and its Alternative Infrastructure Facility fuels, the Recovery and Resilience Instrument and the Cohesion Fund. This will contribute to compliance with legislative norms and the introduction of innovations thanks to the infusion of extrabudgetary funding.

The European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) organized a visit to the European Parliament and a meeting with MEP Josianne CUTAJAR. Various issues were discussed, including the potential development of the Black Sea region.

We express our gratitude to Ms. Josan for the substantive communication and support of Ukraine. In the European Union, shipbuilding is treated as an important industry segment, therefore they understand the threats and challenges that arise (reduction in orders, uncertainty of prospects due to competition from Asian shipyards and protectionism of the Chinese government), and therefore, they created a system of care for him. And thanks to high-level meetings with representatives of the EU shipbuilding industry, we can familiarize ourselves with all these processes in more detail and borrow invaluable experience in the development and implementation of innovative approaches – emphasized Olena Zhukova.

During the meeting, Olena Zhukova also noted that:

The success of the Ukrainian maritime industry, currently, in wartime conditions, is determined by the influence of external factors and the level of support provided by international partners and the community. The concept of success in this context includes not only financial indicators, but also the sustainability of the ecosystem, its ability to innovate and adapt to changes in the global maritime sector. Today, our Cluster actively interacts with international partners and participates in numerous grant projects aimed at the development of the maritime industry and post-war reconstruction. These initiatives include joint research, technological innovation, the development of environmentally friendly technologies for the maritime sector and direct support to SMEs. Already now, our joint work contributes to increasing the competitiveness of the Ukrainian maritime industry on the international market and ensures the sustainable development of this strategically important branch of the national economy.”

Thanks to the meetings, contacts were established with representatives of the European maritime industry and knowledge was gained regarding the important directions of EU shipbuilding development.

The event is organized by the PU Ukrainian Maritime Cluster within the grant call of proposals for the systemic support of small and medium-sized entrepreneurship, commissioned by the international cooperation programme “EU4Business: SME Recovery, Competitiveness and Internationalisation”, which is co-financed by the European Union and the German Government. The grant call of proposals is implemented by the Business Development Fund, the strategic implementer is the German federal company “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH”. The programme aims to support Ukraine’s economic resilience, recovery and growth, create better conditions for the development of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as support innovation and exports. Read more:

Its content is the sole responsibility of the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster  and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union, the German government, GIZ, the BDF.

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