BPO Board Meeting – so long Kimmo & Work Plan 2018!
The Baltic Ports Organization’s last Board Meeting of this year took place in Rostock, on 28th November, 2017. The participants set the course for future actions by adopting the work plan for 2018. The meeting ended with a farewell to Kimmo Mäki, who will be leaving his post as Port of Helsinki’s CEO at the end of the year.
Year 2018 will be indeed busy for the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO), with a multitude of activities already laid out. It stays paramount for the organization to continue its active involvement in the Baltic and European maritime transport sector. Be it its role as a liaison with the European legislative bodies, organizer of industry leading events or environmental projects, the BPO will remain highly engaged.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument, enabling investments in a variety of sectors, among them the European transport sector. While its benefits cannot be denied, the BPO is of the view that a stronger dialogue is needed in order to assure that projects targeted at the development of the Baltic port industry gain sufficient access to the funding. The BPO will take part in the public consultations on CEF2, starting in March 2018, in order to represent the interests of Baltic ports.
The revision of the TEN-T policy will also remain in the area of strong interest of the BPO. The annual BPO lunch debate, organized at the seat of the European Parliament near the end of April 2018, dedicated to this very topic, will feature discussions surrounding past experiences and recommendations for the future.
Naturally, a yearly work plan wouldn’t be complete with the next edition of the Baltic Ports Conference. Year 2018 will take us to Szczecin-Swinoujscie, Poland. The event, traditionally gathering the crème de la crème of the Baltic and European maritime transport industry will be held on 6-7/9/2018.
Environmental issues have always been a strong focus point of the BPO’s actions and year 2018 won’t be any different. The BPO will continue its involvement in the Go LNG Project, aimed at the promotion of LNG usage and its potential in the Baltic Sea region. Additionally, a seminar on sewage reception from passengers is planned for the second half of March 2018. This highly important topic merits a deeper discussion, exploring the challenges facing the development of necessary infrastructure and management of the investment process among other issues.
The BPO’s Environmental Working Group and Comprehensive Ports Working Group will also carry their activities over to 2018.
The meeting concluded on a slightly nostalgic note, with a farewell to one of the BPO’s most active figures. Kimmo Mäki will be leaving his post as CEO of the Port of Helsinki to take up the position of CEO at Finavia Oyj. It is hard to let Kimmo go and we hope that the parting has been made a little more bearable by a gift resonating with one of his greatest passions – football. Men are divided into those who are crazy about the FIFA World Cup and those who don’t admit it. Hopefully looking at the official World Cup ball while watching some of the games will remind Kimmo of his great times at the BPO.