With only a few remaining speakers to be confirmed, the programme of the ESPO 2009 conference reaches completion. This year’s event will be held in Marseilles on 14 and 15 May and will focus on the sustainability of the European port system in the context of the review of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T).
The European Commission published a Green Paper on this review on 4 February and one of the main questions is whether the current comprehensive infrastructure network should evolve to a priority network, taking into account the need to link ports to the hinterland transport networks of Europe and to ensure a sustainable balance. The platform of the ESPO conference is meant to compare the input to this potentially controversial debate. The conference will also look at the opportunities EU policy instruments and funding mechanisms may bring. Particular attention will in this context be paid to the impact of EU regional policy as well as the EC State aid and environmental guidelines which are both expected to be published in 2009. Next to the regular conference, a special interest seminar will be held in the morning of 14 May on co-operation and competition in the Mediterranean.
The conference will open with a keynote speech on the recent reform of the French port system by Dominique Bussereau, the French State Secretary for Transport. Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani has been invited to give the closing keynote address of the conference.
The ESPO 2009 conference is organised in partnership with the Grand Port Maritime of Marseilles which will offer the warm hospitality of Provence, a subtle mix of modernity and tradition. The conference will be held at the Pullman Palm Beach Hotel, located on the Mediterranean seafront.
Registrations and hotel reservations can be made online via the conference website www.espo-conference.com where all practical information is available. As Marseilles is a busy city ESPO recommends to register and book the hotel as soon as possible.