Blue Summit “Towards a sustainable maritime economy. Strategic Priorities for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery”. EMD 2023

Mykolaiv already traditionally hosts the European Maritime Day in Ukraine. An event bringing together stakeholders from across Europe to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the maritime sector. It provides a platform for policymakers, industry and civil society to exchange ideas and best practices, and to explore new ways of promoting sustainable economic growth and development in the maritime sector.

The theme of this year’s summit in Ukraine: “Strategic Priorities of Economic Recovery”, and included discussion of the needs of supporting the maritime industry, its current activities and the launch of new projects that will save the economy, jobs and integrate into the maritime community of Europe.

The event took place in a hybrid format, participants met live at the MDEM base, technical support for the online broadcast was provided by Business Support Center LLC. The co-organizers were: Team of Europe Mykolaiv and Public Union “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster” (PU “UMC”).

Artem Vashchylenko, director of the Business Support Center LLC, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the PU “UMC”, made a welcome speech:
“During difficult challenges for our country, we should not forget that we have a bright future ahead of us. Already now it is worth thinking about the post-war development of the country and its further development. I thank our partners, in particular Team of Europe, for this event, which is an important tool for the reconstruction strategy and the exchange of opinions both for Mykolaiv and for Ukraine as a whole,” the head of the Business Support Center emphasized.

Olena Zhukova, director of MDEM and executive director of PU “UMC” also congratulated the participants and guests of the event on behalf of herself and the DAMEN concern, noting that:
“In this difficult time for Ukraine, the aspiration of representatives of the maritime community to join forces on the path of restoring Ukraine and establishing international ties for the further sustainable development of Ukraine’s economy is particularly valuable,” she said.
Distinguished guests took part.

Oleksandr Sienkevych, Mykolaiv city mayor and his first deputy Vitaly Lukov, who informed aut the prospects of the city’s recovery and effective steps towards the development of the blue economy.
“We started working on the Master Plan with Italian partners. And part of this plan is Blue Economy projects. Here we take into account our geographical location, our historical heritage and the present, including the realities of war,” Vitaly Lukov informed.

The representative of the delegation of the European Union in Ukraine, Gregohi Tsouris, noted in his speech that:

“It is important to consider not only the restoration and reconstruction of the maritime industry of Ukraine, but also the implementation of the European Green Deal (Green Deal) and the development of the blue economy, which includes all maritime industries.”

Thanks to the active international activities and with the support of PU “UMC”, the event was attended by René Berkvens, Chairman of the Shipyards and Marine Equipment Association of Europe (SEA Europe) and Philip Easthill, Secretary General of the European Boating Association (EBA).

Philip Easthill talked about the European Boating Association (EBA) and gave information about the blue economy of the European Union. He announced the main facts and figures, namely: there are 6.5 million boats in Europe; more than 6 thousand coastal and inland marinas; 32 thousand enterprises (over 95% – SMEs); 280,000 employees, high level of European and international exports; the crewing sector focuses on sustainability. EBA’s mission is to promote and represent sustainable boating and marine tourism.

Regarding the issue of the restoration of maritime industries of Ukraine, he highlighted the main directions, namely:
– Reconstruction and restoration of territories and infrastructure to increase jobs in the economy.
– Recovery of pre-war skills in shipping and the wider maritime industry to rebuild industry.
– Future European integration through the use of recovery funds and regulatory harmonization.
– Utilization of the high potential of the internal market of recreation and tourism in inland and coastal areas.
– Water sports and boating are also important for population recovery, as access to water is a critical element of mental health.
– Integrated tourism offer of the Black Sea and marketing of the region as a maritime tourism region.

René Berkvens, Chairman of the Shipyards and Marine Equipment Association of Europe (SEA Europe) congratulated the participants of the event and expressed his condolences regarding the plight of Ukraine and its citizens, which is connected with the war, which affected all spheres of society.
– “I am glad to join the summit, at the last meeting we discussed ideas with representatives of the PU “UMC” and I am glad to welcome the organization as an associate member of SEA Europe. This, I would say, is a positive signal, and today we have gathered to understand and discuss what we can do together to improve the situation in Ukraine, in the maritime industries.”

Olena Zhukova thanked Rene Berkvens and Easthill Isthil for participating in the event and noted that at the end of the month, the delegation of the Civil Union “Ukrainian Maritime Cluster” will have the honor to meet with them in their European offices. During these visits, the organization’s development plan and project activities within the EU 4Business initiative will be presented.

Artem Vashchylenko, the head of the Supervisory Board of the “UMC” State Government, informed, in particular, about the developed structure of the portfolio for the development of Mykolaiv. They presented the way of blue transformation of the city through the implementation of the following projects:
– Plan for the reconstruction of the building of the educational center “School of Young Sailors”.
– Establishing a strategic partnership and communication channel for the city of Mykolaiv, as a “city on the wave”.
– Development of the revitalization concept of Mykolaiv Shipyard: focus on green public transport.
– Support for the blue and green transition of small and medium-sized businesses.
– Purpose and conceptual design of the Marine Industrial Park.

Every day, Russia commits senseless, bloody terror, kills innocent civilians, destroys businesses, industrial and social infrastructure. But despite the enemy, Ukraine is not stopping its blue economic development, it is mastering new European and global markets for products and services.

Regardless of the circumstances, the Ukrainian Maritime Cluster continues the consolidation of key players of the maritime economy and their integration into the European Community.

We are developing plans for the reconstruction of the Maritime Industry of Ukraine and launching new international projects. Our movement on this path is unstoppable!

Get acquainted with the recording of the conference and all the speeches of the participants

The event is part of the annual European Maritime Day (EMD), which was jointly launched by the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission in 2008 to exchange information, discuss and prepare joint actions.

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