The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Conference “The LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy as a vision for the maritime technology industry - towards an innovative, sustainable and competitive maritime industry in 2020”, held in Brussels on 24 October 2017, provided an opportunity for a debate on the issue of whether to relaunch LeaderSHIP 2020.

The debate involved several organisations including Sea-Europe and the CPMR and focused on the challenges and needs of the 4 pillars of LeaderSHIP 2020. The issues of finance, innovation and employment in the blue economy, were addressed amongst others, as well as the implementation of LeaderSHIP2020 at national and regional level and the next steps in the process.

Mr Lucio Sabbadini, Fincantieri, (speech) and Mr Jerzy Czuczman, Forum Okretowe (PPT presentation) provided information on the implementation of LeaderSHIP 2020 at national and regional level. Mr Damien Périssé, Director for Maritime Affairs at Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, CPMR, introduced the CLIPPER project in his PPT presentation. Research, development and innovation was addressed by Mr Mario Dogliani, Technical Director, SEA Europe (PPT presentation) and Mr Peter Crowley, Future RDI FP (PPT presentation). Ms Elspeth Hathaway, Policy Advisor, IndustriAll, gave a PPT presentation on employment and skills, whilst Mr Reinhard Lüken, Chair of SEA Europe’s Market and Trade Working Group, addressed competitiveness in his PPT presentation. The programme concluded with a presentation of the next steps by Ms Agnieszka Montoya-Iwanczuk, DG GROW, European Commission. 

One of the highlights of the Conference was the willingness of several organisations, including the EESC and Sea-Europe to update the LeaderShip 2020 strategy. This is proving necessary at a time when European shipbuilding finds itself facing growing global competition that will only increase over the next few years. 

The General Secretariat of the CPMR expressed its potential interest for this approach and stressed that CLIPPER is an important element on which to build further work on the issues addressed in the LeaderSHIP 2020 report. THE CPMR also pointed out that CLIPPER is indeed a result of the work carried out on LeaderSHIP 2020. 

This issue was addressed once again in the afternoon of 20 November 2017, during a meeting with the Member Regions of the CPMR. This meeting helped confirm preliminary interest expressed by several Regions to be involved in work on a renewal of the LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy. Once again, CLIPPER was identified as an important element in the work of the CPMR. 

Link to the event website: click here.