After a year 2020 complicated by the impact of the health crisis generated by COVID-19 and its effect on the world economy, Europe is preparing for recovery with the support of the European Green Deal, an ambitious initiative to become the first emission-neutral continent by 2050, a goal that Valenciaport has brought forward by twenty years with its zero emissions project. If in 2020 the port facilities have given their best, guaranteeing the maintenance of operations and playing a key role in avoiding disruptions in global supply chains, now is the time to prepare for the future and become an indispensable ally in building a better and stronger Europe. Ports are going to position themselves as engines of growth and sustainability, while at the same time entering the world of digitalisation to lead this economic and social transformation of Europe. The keys to know the present and future of the strategic role of the ports in this transition will be revealed in the 17th edition of the ESPO Conference Regatta 2021 which will start next Tuesday 25 May from the Port of València.

“European ports at the crossroads of transitions” is the motto presiding over this annual conference organised by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) which will hold its first session from the Clock building of the Port of Valencia, one of the venues, together with Ghent (Belgium) and Oslo (Norway). The event, in which all the agents involved and committed to sustainable recovery (port industry, companies, academics and political decision-makers, among others) will take part, with the participation - in person and online - of the president of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), Aurelio Martínez; the president of ESPO, Annaleena Mäkilä; and the European Union Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, who will be responsible for opening the day.

After this introduction, the results of the recent study carried out jointly by Deloitte and ESPO on the role of European port authorities in the economic future will be presented. Likewise, throughout the morning, different experts on the subject will debate and give an overview of the state of the matter until the end of the conference, which will be concluded by Inmaculada Rodríguez Piñeiro.

The conference will continue Wednesday 26 May from the visitor centre of the North Sea Port of Ghent and will end on the 28th with the session organised by the Port of Oslo from the Clarion Hotel. In total, more than 40 experts will participate and discuss the future of the European ports as driving forces for a strong and resilient European economy and society.