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Baltic Sea - Europe's Common Good

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3rd Nationwide Maritime Law Conference
Baltic Sea - Europe's Common Good

28.02.2014

On 27 February 2014 the lecture theatre of the University of Gdansk's Faculty of Law and Administration hosted the 3rd Nationwide Maritime Law Conference. The European Law Students' Association ELSA Gdansk invited to the conference not only students from numerous academic centres but also representatives of government and local government administration, trade union members, lawyers, scholars, professionals from the port and maritime industry. The programme that abounded in speeches referred to three main topics, i.e. competitiveness of the Polish maritime economy, dilemmas connected with reconciling the interests of business and respect for the environment, and the aspects of deriving optimal benefits from Poland's coastal location for the society.

The motto for all the speakers turned out to be the Latin piece of wisdom in mari via tua (your way is in the sea). The lecture given by Ms Dorota Raben, the President of the Board of PGA SA, was devoted to its essence. "The advantages for Polish seaports and maritime economy arising from the development of intermodal transport under pan-European transport networks." Ms Raben stated that the advantages arise from the cargo handling potential of the Port of Gdansk's serving a considerable part of Baltic Europe. The record year of 2013 resulted in almost 30.3 million tonnes of PLN 160 billion worth of commodities handled. More than a third of that quantity (1.2 TEU) arrived in or left the port in containers. A considerable part of the commodities arrived on the world's largest Triple-E container ships owned by Maersk Line (18.2 thousand TEU) rendering AE services from Asia to Gdansk. In creating jobs for over 40 thousand residents of the Pomerania Region, the port is the lungs of the Polish foreign trade and a window on the world for neighbouring countries. It is in Gdansk, at the mouth of the Vistula River and at natural depth of the Baltic Sea, where trading routes of a great part of Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia have met for over a thousand years. This is a merchant market for almost 230 million people.

In May 2008, Ministers of Transport from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia exchanged diplomatic notes recognising the ports of Gdansk and Gdynia as the starting points of Corridor VI, which implements the idea of connecting Central European transport infrastructure with ocean-going ship sides. The components of the corridor included, apart from two Polish seaports on the Baltic Sea and four ports on the Adriatic Sea, cargo handling terminals providing a link between road and rail transport. As a result a network of commercially efficient and environmentally friendly intermodal logistic infrastructure, fluently using different transport technologies, for the carriage of goods between the north and the south was created. Additionally, seaports from the east and west of Europe gained new connections. In consequence, economically developing regions of the EU members states were connected with traditional, economically powerful regions of Austria and northern Italy, producing a social and economic synergy effect.

The Port of Gdansk's geographic location bonus, its ideal location in the never-freezing part of the Baltic Sea, conditions enabling navigation of large ships as well as good and upgraded accessibility from the inland, and the prospects of using cost efficient and environmentally friendly river inland waterway traffic are earning a place in the European awareness. It is not only an element of the existing status quo of the port, but also a perfect argument in the negotiations held with partners interested in building new terminals in the port. It s an impulse for investing in the Polish economy's driving force.

Janusz Kasprowicz
PGA SA PR Officer





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