The Economist hosts its first Summit on the occasion of the Greek EU Presidency in Thessaloniki on February 17-18. The event, titled “The sea of Europe: Routing the map for economic growth”, is held under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU with the support of the European Commission.
The theme of the summit falls within the horizontal priority of the Greek Presidency, namely Maritime policies. Participants will address issues related to the EU “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF), the new funding mechanism for infrastructure projects of common interest for trans-European transport, energy and telecoms networks. With a proposed budget of € 50 billion, CEF aspires to be a key instrument in promoting growth, jobs and competitiveness in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. The initiative will support the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. The opening speeches will be delivered by Siim Callas, EC Vice President and Commissioner for Transport - on “Creating the ‘Sea of Europe’ through Connecting Europe facility” - and Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister, Dimitris Kourkoulas. Maritime Affairs & Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki will address the issue of Blue Growth, a Greek presidency priority, and its significance for Europe’s prosperity.
Within this framework, Greece’s potential as a hub for international trade will also be discussed, with special emphasis on recent developments in ports policy and how Greek ports may contribute significantly to the transport network of Europe as a whole.
The conference will bring together European Commissioners, Greek government ministers, as well as the heads of the country’s major ports, utilities, infrastructures and energy companies.
The event will open with The Economist’s forecast on Europe’s growth. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Evangelos Venizelos will address the Summit as guest of honour and keynote speaker, while the Leader of Main opposition Alexis Tsipras will deliver the closing keynote speech of the conference.
The Economist’s second Greek Presidency summit will take place in May 2014 and will focus on Europe’s relationship with the Arab world.
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