SEA Europe’s General Assembly has re-elected René Berkvens, former CEO of the Damen Shipyard, as its Chairman. In addition, a new Chairman’s Committee was appointed and SEA Europe’s Board of Directors confirmed the urgent need for a maritime industry act.

René Berkvens
René Berkvens (picture by SEA Europe).

‘It is a great honour for me to be re-elected as SEA Europe’s chairman at a critical moment in time for the future of Europe’s maritime technology industry and Europe’s maritime strategic autonomy,’ says Berkvens. ‘Together with my colleagues and secretariat, I will continue to work with EU decision-makers and waterborne stakeholders to secure a thriving European waterborne sector, including shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers, and to reinforce Europe’s maritime industrial capacity, know how and technological leadership.’

Also read: SEA Europe: EU measures needed for maritime technology industry

Chairman’s Committee

Next to Mr. Berkvens, the General Assembly also appointed the following vice chairmen:

  • Bernard Meyer (Meyer Werft);
  • Claudio Graziano (Fincantieri and Assonave);
  • Egil Haugsdal (Kongsberg);
  • Eleni Polychronopoulou (Hemexpo);
  • Jacques Hardelay (Chantier de Marseille);
  • Klaus Deleroi (Reintjes);
  • Kim Scheibel (Hempel); and
  • Fernando Miguelez Garcia (Navantia).

They all represent an important segment of the maritime technology sector and/or an important maritime technology member state. Together with Arda Demerçelik (SEA SMRC) and the chairman, the vice chairs form SEA Europe’s Chairman’s Committee.

Maritime industry act

The General Assembly was preceded by a Board of Directors, which confirmed SEA Europe’s aim to call upon the European Commission to issue a maritime industry act, to address the specific needs and challenges of shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers in Europe. This act should enable the industry to tap into the business opportunities arising from the European Green Deal, the Green Deal Industrial Plan, and the Net Zero Industry Act, whilst having a framework that enables the sector to remain a global leader in complex shipbuilding and advanced maritime equipment manufacturing.

Besides, the maritime industry act should also enable the industry to regain competitiveness in strategic segments for Europe’s defence, strategic autonomy, energy transition and energy independence, and Blue Economy. The goal of a European maritime industry act should be a globally competitive, resilient, innovative, zero-emission and digitalised maritime technology industry as well as waterborne sector.

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