Cork City will host ‘European Maritime Day (EMD)’ on 14 & 15 May 2020

22 November 2019
By Bryan Smyth

Cork City Council is delighted to confirm Cork City will host European Maritime Day (EMD) on May 14 and 15 next year. This is the first time that Ireland has been selected by the Council of the European Union to hold this flagship two-day conference which has become one of the key events in the European maritime calendar.

2020 will be a hugely significant year for Cork with European Maritime Day, SeaFest, Cork Harbour Festival and Cork 300 taking place over the summer.

The European Maritime Day (EMD) Conference and Expo is an annual two-day event during which Europe’s maritime community meets to network, discuss and forge joint action on maritime affairs and sustainable blue economy.

A key component of EMD2020 will be 20 stakeholders’ workshops. Four workshop slots will be in operation with five workshops running in parallel.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Sheehan said: “Cork is being increasingly recognised as Ireland’s maritime haven. Last year and again this year, Cork will host SeaFest, the country’s largest free family maritime festival, and huge excitement is building around the 300-year celebrations planned for next year by the world’s oldest yacht club, Cork’s RCYC. European Maritime Day and the annual ‘Our Ocean Wealth’ conference further add to the momentum that is building at a European level around Cork’s rich maritime resource”. “European Maritime Day is a global opportunity for people working in the maritime sector in Ireland to network, do business and hear about groundbreaking research. Cork City Council is making a callout to those working in the maritime sector to help inform our workshop programme. Are you a business, policy maker, academic or NGO interested in getting involved? Would you like to shape EMD 2020 by running or taking part in a workshop or taking exhibition space? Please take a look the European Maritime Day website for more information on the draft programme and how to get involved”.


Fil photo of Minster Creed in a maritime setting in Cork: Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD inspecting harbour works at the official opening of the harbour administration building in Castletownbere with harbourmaster Cormac McGinley, Tony OÕSullivan, engineer and Kelly Guiney, Engineer.
Picture. Maxells

EMD 2020 is an initiative organised by the European Commission, Cork city and Our Ocean Wealth Summit. The conference will take place on 14 and 15 May 2020 in Cork City Hall and surrounding venues (to be announced) incorporating (for 2020 Only)  the annual ‘Our Ocean Wealth Summit’. SeaFest, Ireland’s flagship annual family friendly marine festival will run back to back with the European Maritime Day commencing immediately after the completion of EMD Conference. SeaFest which celebrates all aspects of the marine is one of Ireland’s and most successful largest free family-friendly festivals with attendances reaching up to 100,000 in recent years. This will be followed by the annual Cork Harbour Festival which will run from 15-24 May 2020, offering a week-long celebration of Ireland’s rich maritime heritage.

Facts & Figures

  • SeaFest is a key component of ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Plan for Ireland’ which has as one of its goals increasing participation and engagement with the sea. #EMDCork2020
  • European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual EU meeting point on maritime affairs and sustainable blue growth, and the place where ‘Ocean Leaders Meet’ as the slogan goes
  • In 2020 the city of Cork will open its gates and its safe harbour to European Maritime Day and Europe’s maritime stakeholders.
  • European Maritime Day is a great opportunity to touch base with strategic partners, to make new contacts and network, get visibility for your projects, ideas, activities and achievements, gain new insights into the evolving EU policy and funding landscapes and provide input into European maritime policy formation.
  • The annual Our Ocean Wealth (OOW) Summit is being incorporated (for 2020) with the European Maritime Day Conference. The summit will return as a separate annual event (in Cork) for 2021.
  • Cork Harbour Festival is a week-long celebration of Ireland’s unique maritime heritage, set in the second largest natural harbour in the world. It will take place from 15 – 24 May 2020

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