Malta Hosts European Maritime Day 2013

| Published on 20 May 2013

Chetcuti Cauchi

Malta is this year's host for the European Maritime Day, which has since 2008 been annually celebrated on the 20th May. Past editions were held in Brussels, Rome, Gijon, Gdansk, and Gothenburg.

The Malta edition of the European Maritime Day will serve as an opportunity to highlight the crucial role that oceans and seas play in the everyday life of EU citizens and the EU’s economic growth and jobs creation. The event in Malta shall also serve to encourage better management of coastal zones, seas and oceans by citizens and actors involved. 
As part of the events in relation to the European Maritime Day, Malta will be hosting a conference on ‘Coastal Development and Sustainable Maritime Tourism in the Wider Context of Blue Growth’, which is the theme chosen for this year’s edition of the European Maritime Day -  Blue Growth being a long-term strategy to support growth in the maritime sector as a whole. The conference will provide a unique opportunity to discuss about the economic social and cultural aspects of the sea and recognition of the potential of these marine resources with the aim of aiding in realising the Europe 2020 strategy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
During the conference, delegations representing EU member states, decision makers and field experts will focus  on the issue of how to make Blue Growth happen through sustainable tourism, connectivity and coastal management. It is expected that Malta shall serve as a platform for debate and focus on competitiveness and employment of the European coastal and maritime tourism, and overcome problems resulting from seasonality. The conference will also offer an opportunity to discuss new opportunities for maritime and coastal tourism in Europe in the context of sustainable development.   
Plenary sessions will focus on the challenges of improving the fluidity of goods, ameliorating information flows and facilitating increase transport capacity while also exploring the potential of emerging sectors such as marine energy and its delivery to the. The role of the cruise sector and its safety and sustainability will also be discussed.
Concurrent to the conference, a multitude of public events will be taking place all over Malta between the 19th to the 22nd of May. A broad range of activities will be organised by government entities, corporations, cooperatives, voluntary organisations, local councils and private companies to promote, discuss and celebrate the value of long standing maritime tradition in the Maltese islands as well as various policies related to the seas and coasts.
The EU’s marine and maritime sectors nowadays cater for 5.6 million jobs and account for €495 billion. Forty percent of the EU's gross domestic product is generated in maritime regions.

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