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All maritime clusters on deck for ENMC transition

Date: 16/11/2017

Francis Vallat, co-founder and first vice-president of the European Network of Maritime Clusters and chairman since 2011, resigned from his chairmanship during the annual meeting held in Elsinore, Denmark, on October 25 and 26.

After six years at the helm of the network – created in 2005 in Vallat’s Paris office – Mr Vallat decided to resign in order to give a younger highly reputable maritime personality a chance to allow new ideas and blood into the ENMC.

In fact, the transition had been carefully prepared since autumn 2016, when Mr Vallat confirmed that his decision was irrevocable.

Mr Vallat’s right-hand man Paul Marceul, secretary general since 2011, recently resigned as manager of the Luxembourg maritime cluster with the unanimous appreciation of its members.

He will step back after a short technical transition period.

Both have given a strong new impetus to ENMC for years, multiplying efforts to better connect national clusters with each other and the ENMC itself with relevant international organisations and European bodies. The two helped establish the ENMC as a recognised stakeholder, highly respected by the European Commission and the European Parliament Maritime Intergroup.

“The ENMC has enormous potential to help unlock the future of blue growth and achieved a lot on various important fronts,” Vallat said.

“The European Commission is aware of it but despite its repeated commitments to walk the talk, no solution was found for the EU to financially support us. It is a missed opportunity but national clusters will still find the necessary resources to go ahead.”

The ENMC members elected Arjen Uytendaal, the managing director of Nederland Maritiem Land to the presidency and three prominent maritime leaders as vice-presidents: Spanish maritime cluster president Alejandro Aznar, French maritime cluster president Frédéric Moncany de Saint-Aignan, and chairman of the Italian Association of Shipbuilders and Ambassador Vincenzo Petrone. Mr Uytendaal, who has decades of business experience with various shipping companies, said: “I am honoured that the ENMC members have elected me and trust me to lead our organisation into the next era.

“Next to strengthening the foundation of the ENMC, it is important to promote and enhance the added value and influence of the European maritime industry and to bring cross-sectoral maritime opportunities and sustainable challenges to the arena in Brussels.”

Mr Vallat, elected honorary president upon recommendation of the new chairman, who will remain a board member at the disposal of the chairman, expressed full satisfaction and confidence.

“The arrival of Mr Uytendaal at the helm of ENMC is great news,” he said. “I have no doubt that his leadership will quickly demonstrate that ENMC is in extremely good hands.”

Source: Times of Malta

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