ENMC is ready to sail further but expects the wind of the Commission
The 11th yearly meeting of the European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) took place last week in Madrid. The association, which was at its beginning rather a regular “get-together” organized to exchange best practices and information, has strongly evolved into a vigorous sprout of a European cluster of clusters. Its most recent big achievement is to have obtained from the European Commission a study on the size of the European Blue Economy. According to ENMC Chairman Vallat: “The European Commission and the ENMC did a great work together and we are confident that our concerns of having soon comparable national data at our disposal, and also being involved in the strategic decisions, will receive the appropriate attention”.
Another big topic on the agenda of the meeting was the reinforcement of the ENMC. National clusters consider this issue as critical and this is the reason why nearly every national cluster headed to Madrid. During the meeting the national clusters repeated their position that the reinforcement will be possible only if - at last - the European Commission provides some seed capital, in line with its own public statements following which it wants to work more and more with strong and harmonized clusters in all fields, and especially in the field of “Blue Growth”. Besides, the national maritime clusters all work with limited financial means whereas companies already pay fees to their national federations and clusters, and to European trade associations as well, those actors which ENMC wants to support and supplement whenever useful.
The national clusters also caught the opportunity of the Madrid meeting to remind that all European Commission reports, studies and statements acknowledge the role cluster-like organizations can play to boost jobs and growth.“We have now the opportunity to fact-check this and transpose successful national models at European level. Which means that to obtain positive decisions from the Commission becomes crucial” finally stated ENMC Chairman Vallat.
The next yearly meeting will be held on October 19th and 20th 2016 in Southampton.
Francis Vallat, Chairman
Paul Marceul Secretary-General
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