Burgas Matchmaking Event May 31st 2018, Bulgaria




Burgas is the venue for European Maritime Day in May and June 2018 festival, Bulgaria





Dr Alberto Guimaraes accepts a gift of maritime art from Ruska Boyadzhieva


HANDOVER CEREMONY - Alberto Laplaine Guimarães accepts a gift of maritime art from Ruska Boyadzhieva. Alberto is the Secretary General of Lisbon City Council and Ruska the Deputy Mayor of Burgas, Bulgaria. Copyright © photograph June 1 2018 Cleaner Ocean Foundation.




Expand your international network, explore new ideas and develop cooperation possibilities.

The event is organised in the framework of European Maritime Day Conference 2018, which will take place on 31st May- 1 st June 2018 in Burgas (Bulgaria). The European Maritime Day (EMD) is an annual event which welcomes Europe's growing maritime community gathering EU maritime stakeholders and EU policymakers to discuss, debate and exchange best practices. Participants come from ports, shipping industries, clusters, environmental associations, NGOs, trade unions, scientific and research institutions, and local, regional, national and European authorities, amongst others.




This networking event targets innovative companies, universities, researchers, public authorities and other organisations interested in sharing new project ideas and finding collaboration partners to:

* Safety and security,
* People and skills,
* Innovation and growth,
* Sustainability and governance




ENTERPRISE NETWORK  - The sooner you register your interest, the more people will see your profile and areas of interest.




It is an ideal way to find technology and business partners through pre-arranged meetings during an event which attracts delegates and experts from across Europe and beyond. You simply need to register, present yourself, your company/organisation and a cooperation idea and select partners of interest to you in advance of the event.

The earlier you submit your collaboration profile, the more it will be recognized. Main Topics:




Maritime Policy
Coastal Areas and Ports
Maritime Environment and Protected Areas
Maritime and Shipyard Technologies and Equipment
Maritime Services, Transport and Shipping
Maritime and Port Security
Skills and Training


Coastal Tourism
Marine Biotechnology
Ocean Energy
Seabed Mining
Marine Research, Development and Innovation








Burgas Declaration - 31 May 2018


The Ministers responsible for maritime affairs of the participating countries, namely the Black Sea coastal States – Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Turkey and Ukraine – as well as the Republic of Moldova, met during the European Maritime Day in Burgas on 31 May 2018 under the chairmanship of Bulgaria and in the presence of H.E. Mr Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner in charge of Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs and H.E. Ambassador Michael B. Christides, Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.




- The outcomes of the Black Sea High-Level Stakeholder Conferences held in Bucharest (2014), Sofia (2015), Odesa (2016) and Batumi (2017) relevant to the sustainable development in the Black Sea area;

- The “Bucharest Declaration” adopted at the conclusion of the High-level conference towards enhanced cooperation on Black Sea fisheries and aquaculture held in Bucharest (24 – 25 October 2016);

- The Charter of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and its role in enhancing regional cooperation and supporting partnership1;

- The European Commission Communications on “Black Sea Synergy”, related to the aspects of the integrated maritime policy and blue growth;

- The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the new global development agenda 2015-2030 adopted in New York (26 September 2015), entitled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, and in particular Goal 14 to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”.




- The respect for the norms and principles of international law is at the core of regional cooperation in the Black Sea;

- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea2 as well as the other relevant international conventions and customary international law related to activities in oceans and seas are fully considered;

1 As underlined in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/18/ on the cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization.

2 The Republic of Turkey is not party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

- The Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (Bucharest Convention) plays a key role for the environmental welfare of the Black Sea;

- The International Maritime Organization (IMO) sets a regulatory framework ensuring a safe, secure, efficient international shipping industry and a green and sustainable maritime transportation system.




- The Black Sea is an enclosed sea where maritime cooperation can be further developed through regional ownership and home-grown initiatives;

- There are common maritime and marine challenges facing all participating countries;

- Maritime and coastal industries, trade, other human activities and marine environment are interdependent;

- Clean and healthy rivers flowing into the Black Sea are drivers for national and regional economies, and contribute to the good environmental status of the Black Sea;

- A coordinated and coherent regional approach – that takes into account the sovereign rights and the distinctive nature of each country and the environmental challenges of the sea as a whole – can help to address the maritime challenges in the region and promote sustainable growth. Areas of future cooperation could take into account the following common drivers:

- A healthy Black Sea as a stimulus for national and regional economies and a catalyst for sustainable growth and increased investments;

- Improved connectivity in the region that can bring shared socio-economic benefits;

- The need to consider at an early planning stage the potential environmental impacts of all maritime activities, and the adequate actions to address them;

- The need for sustainable exploitation of marine resources and the need to restore and maintain good environmental status, to ensure resilience of ecosystems, communities, and economies in the region;

- Marine research and innovations can contribute to the sustainable development of the region by fostering integration of knowledge and efforts in the maritime domain.




- The initiative of the European Commission to set up the “Facility for Blue Growth in the Black Sea” which aims to support maritime cooperation between the participating countries for sustainable blue growth in the Black Sea and to identify sources and policy approaches for a more sustainable Blue Economy;

- The work of the Steering Group “Facility for Blue Growth in the Black Sea”;

- The financial support provided through the Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020”, funded by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA);

- The funding available under the Black Sea Project Promotion Facility3, aiming to foster the achievement of the BSEC objectives and the implementation of the BSEC Economic Agenda;

- The common work of the scientists from the participating countries and the support of the European Commission to identify key challenges for marine research and innovation in view of developing a “Research and Innovation Agenda for Blue Growth in the Black Sea”;

- The work conducted by the participating countries, in particular under the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (BSC), to improve environmental observation, monitoring and protection;

- The establishment of the “Black Sea Littoral States Border/Coast Guard Agencies Cooperation Forum” (BSCF) with the initiative of the Republic of Turkey and the participation of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation and Ukraine for promoting and enhancing the cooperation in various fields, including the protection of Black Sea natural resources, search and rescue activities, prevention of marine pollution and the protection of marine environment;

- The new dynamics in the governance of fisheries and aquaculture in the Black Sea in the context of the Black Sea Working Group of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean within the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (GFCM-FAO);

- The ongoing work to strengthen cooperation on maritime affairs in the Black Sea area between the participating countries, the European Commission, BSEC, BSC, GFCM as well as with the Conference of the Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).




- Shipping, passenger and cruising lines to boost trade and the promotion of transport connectivity to develop business throughout the Black Sea basin;

- Maritime and coastal tourism in the Black Sea to spur cooperation for a sustainable Blue Economy, taking into account the cultural and environmental assets of the region;

The Black Sea Project Promotion Facility is a funding mechanism, established through a donation of the Russian Federation to the BSEC PERMIS and open to participation of other countries, for supporting, in particular, projects and initiatives in areas such as: energy efficiency, environmentally friendly technologies, infrastructure, transport, promotion of export potential, development of small and medium-size enterprises, as well as other activities with a view to enhancing BSEC project-oriented approach and interaction with the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), aiming to foster the achievements of the BSEC objectives and the implementation of the BSEC Economic Agenda.

- Marine science and maritime education and training as a good basis for cooperation and as key factors in improving and developing new skills in the Blue Economy;

- Marine research and innovation as a key priority for cooperation;

- Promoting maritime investment for a sustainable blue economy through planning tools;

- An improved marine environmental protection for developing a sustainable Blue Economy, and in particular coordination while addressing transboundary environmental challenges, such as plastic marine litter;

- Maritime and environmental observation and monitoring which will contribute to the sustainable use of marine resources and to the achievement of good environmental status.




- The setting up of a Common Maritime Agenda with concrete priorities and actions for the development of, inter alia, a sustainable Blue Economy in the Black Sea, promoting enhanced cooperation on maritime affairs among the participating countries. Such an Agenda will serve as a valuable tool for the participating countries, the European Commission and other international donors to align available funding with the priority areas identified by the participating countries;

- The objective of the participating countries is to reach agreement on a Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea in 2019.



7. UNDERLINE that:

- The cooperation towards the setting up of the Common Maritime Agenda is a bottom-up process between the participating countries, with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders. Participation in the activities which will be undertaken under this cooperation remains voluntary, depending on the needs to be addressed and as appropriate;

- The cooperation towards the setting up of the Common Maritime Agenda complements the work of the existing regional structures such as BSEC, BSC, as well as CPMR, and capitalises on their achievements. This cooperation is targeted at inclusive growth, marine and coastal environment protection, knowledge exchange, technology transfer, upgrading of skills, job creation and enhancing access to sustainable financing. Further synergies and mutually reinforcing agendas are to be actively explored in the future.




- The participating countries to continue working together to identify the regional maritime and marine priorities and actions to be included in the Common Maritime Agenda. This should be done including through the Steering Group on the implementation of the “Facility for Blue Growth in the Black Sea” project;

- The participating countries to consider, where applicable, the areas listed under Point 5 of this Declaration - shipping, passenger and cruising lines; the promotion of transport connectivity, maritime and coastal tourism; maritime education and training; marine research and innovation; maritime investment; marine environmental protection; environmental observation and monitoring - as possible cooperation areas to be further.



THE VENUE - Бургас


Burgas Free University

8001, Burgas, 62 San Stefano Street
Tel.: ( 056 ) 900-400 ; (056) 900-418
e-mail: bfu@bfu.bg 





The hosting baton was passed on by the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Lindsay Wilson, who closed the two-day event, by thanking all those that have supported the conference before passing the baton on to next year’s host: “I would like to convey my thanks to all speakers, exhibitors, Borough of Poole staff, volunteers, and many others, who have helped make 2017’s European Maritime Day such a successful and pleasurable event. 

“I am delighted to hand over the baton to Ruska Boyadzhieva, Deputy Mayor of Burgas, and I wish Bulgaria every success with their European Maritime Day in 2018, when they will host this prestigious event.

"On behalf of everyone in Poole, I would like to thank the Mayor of Burgas for the special gift to the people of Poole."

The Mayor presented Ruska Boyadzhieva, Deputy Mayor of Burgas, with a custom-made decorative plate from local pottery manufacturers, Poole Pottery, while the Mayor of Burgas reciprocated with a gift. 




HANDOVER  - Councillor Lindsay Wilson presents Ruska Bovadzhieva with a plate from a local pottery maker, Friday 19 May 2017.





Burgas is the second largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the fourth-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna, with a population of 211,033 inhabitants, while 277,922 live in its urban area. It is the capital of Burgas Province and an important industrial, transport, cultural and tourist centre.

The city is surrounded by the Burgas Lakes and located at the westernmost point of the Black Sea, at the large Burgas Bay. The LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas is the largest oil refinery in southeastern Europe and the largest industrial enterprise. The Port of Burgas is the largest port in Bulgaria, and Burgas Airport is the second most important in the country. Burgas is the center of the Bulgarian fishing and fish processing industry.



Nelson Kay, volunteer ocean cleaning consultant


NETWORKING  - Our volunteer delegate met over 50 delegates at this event, every one telling of their commitment to blue growth and helping to eradicate the menace of ocean plastic waste.





* Brussels 2008: "A regional approach to the implementation of Maritime Policy"

* Rome 2009: "Integrated Maritime Policy and the contribution of maritime clusters"

* Gijón 2010: "How to foster innovation?"

* Gdansk 2011: "Maritime Policy: Putting People First"

* Gothenburg 2012: "Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts"

* Valletta 2013: "Coastal Development and Sustainable Maritime Tourism"

* Bremen 2014: "Innovation driving Blue Growth"

* Piraeus 2015: "Ports and Coasts, Gateways to Maritime Growth"

* Turku 2016: "Investing in blue growth – smart and sustainable solutions"

* Poole 2017: "The Future of our Seas"

* Burgas 2018: Bulgaria "TBA"

* Lisbon 2019: Portugal "TBA"

* Cork 2020: Ireland "TBA"

* Den Helder 2021: The Netherlands "TBA"

* Ravenna 2022: Italy "TBA"

* Brest 2023: France "TBA"

* Svendborg 2024: Denmark "TBA"




Be sure to book your accommodation online for the Burgas Maritime Festival and the European Maritime Day (30 May-02 June 2018) in good time choosing from the many great hotels in Burgas. Accommodation is in demand in the area at the end of May and beginning of June, so book your hotel or apartment as soon as possible.

By plane

Burgas has an international airport, an indicative timetable of flights before and after the conference will be available shortly. Burgas airport has a direct 20-minute bus link to the city (main Burgas bus station).

Participants can also fly to Varna and Sofia. We will organise shuttles from and to Varna and Sofia airports (more information will be available in April). Varna-Burgas is a 2-hour drive and Sofia-Burgas a 4-hour drive. 

By train

The Burgas Train Station is located in the city centre, immediately next to the main Bus Station and the Maritime Station.

There are trains to Burgas from all large and most of the smaller cities in Bulgaria. There are trains from and to Sofia throughout the day and night.



BDZ travel services



BDZ Passenger Services

By bus

There are daily bus lines from and to Burgas, linking it with other large cities in the country – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, etc.







There are good road connections between Burgas and all other Bulgarian coastal cities. European Route No. 8, which is the shortest land link between the Adriatic and Black Sea Coasts, passes through Burgas.


Whichever way you choose to travel to Burgas – by plane, train, bus, car or sea, you can’t go wrong. One thing is sure – Burgas is closer than you can imagine and the trip here is definitely worth it. Have a safe trip, we are looking forward to meeting you!






Various options are available for stakeholders - businesses, science, government, NGOs - to get involved at the EMD Conference 2018 in Burgas: organise your own workshop, have a stand in the exhibition space or book a business-to-business meeting. You can also bring the EMD to your own country by organising your own EMD branded event.


1. Organise your own workshop

Thematic stakeholder workshops are at the core of the conference. Each workshop lasts 1.5 hours. For 2018 we plan to select 18 high-quality workshops (four slots with 4 or 5 workshops running in parallel).


2. Hold an exhibition booth in Burgas

The EMD exhibition space is an ideal place for stakeholders to meet, exchange experience and discuss the latest developments.


3. Book a B2B meeting in Burgas

It will be possible to arrange one-to-one networking / matchmaking meetings alongside the event. 


4) Bring European Maritime Day to your country

Each year, while the EMD conference is the meeting point for the growing maritime community and industry professionals from across Europe, there is also a possibility for you to bring European Maritime Day in your country for the public at large, and notably the young generation, children and students.



Make your own European Maritime Day event #EMD2018




Every year up to one thousand European maritime professionals from both the public sector and the corporate world flock to a hosting port city to discuss the latest news in maritime development and shape future action. The 2018 edition will take place on the Black Sea, in the coastal city of Burgas, Bulgaria.


But there is not just one EMD. A series of local EMD events are also organised all over Europe for the public at large, so that the many European regions with a maritime culture can join in the celebrations and highlight the vital role of the seas and oceans for our life and for the economy.


Public interest and activism about the challenges to our seas and oceans have been rising steadily in recent years, and understandably so has attendance to the local EMD events. The fact that these events often have a "fun and game" component for a younger public only adds to their appeal and to their effectiveness in spreading the message.



So why not make your own European Maritime Day?

To join in the celebrations, all you need is a local event in any country, even non-EU, related to the sea and held between April and July 2018.

If you are organising such an event, consider linking it to European Maritime Day and making your event a European Maritime Day event. There are many good reasons to do so:



What's in it for me?

The European Commission will support your event in various ways that will increase its resonance and prestige.

* You will be able to add the "EMD" brand to your event, letting your event into the wider EMD family and giving it a European dimension.
* You will receive from us a number of EMD promotional items such as notepads, posters, flags and eco-friendly textile shoulder bags.
* You will have a chance to be appointed EMD "ambassador". We may invite a person representing your event to come to the EMD Conference in Burgas and pitch your project.
* Photos or short videos of your event may be shown at the EMD Conference.
* Your event will be advertised at the EMD Conference in Burgas, on our web site and through our social media network





What they need from you

All you need to do is make your event known to the European Commission by applying here before 28 February 2018. You will provide the title, date and location of your event, its target audience and a short description of how it addresses the maritime theme and how it is promoted. If your event meets the two conditions (sea theme and timing) it will be accepted as a "European Maritime Day in My Country" event - and the advantages will be yours.



You will then provide:

* Before your event: the detailed programme (web link).
* After your event: 3 photos of the event and/or a maximum 1-minute video (with the authorization to use them).

What kind of event?

Eligible activities may include (the list is not exhaustive):

- Beach-cleaning initiatives
- Environmental actions
- Guided tours of cities and ports
- Workshops, conferences, seminars, exhibitions on maritime themes
- Eco-tours and walks in areas with significant maritime heritage (cultural, environmental), excursions by boat
- Visits to maritime museums or former ships, shipyards, port facilities
- Information activities on maritime skills or maritime research projects
- Information activities on sustainable coastal tourism
- Information activities on sustainable waste management (eg recycling of fishing gears)
- Sailing/surfing/kite surfing lessons for children, sailing awareness campaigns
- Reading clubs, art contests, art exhibitions, photo competitions, dance performances, street shows, urban games

- Stand-up performances, theatrical plays, concerts – as long as the sea is the main theme
- Education and artistic activities for school children
- University or school projects
- Marine camps for teenagers
- Any other activity for the public with the sea as a central theme and held between April and July 2018

Organisers may be national, regional or local authorities; academia or research institutes; Non-Governmental Organisations; port authorities, maritime museums, clusters, consultants, businesses; theatres, arts centres; nautical sports clubs; FLAGs, RTD projects, fishermen, and so on.

If you have any questions please contact the organisers.




European Commission flag logo stars on blue 



Enterprise Europe Network South West
Business West, Leigh Court
Abbots Leigh, Bristol, BS8 3RA 


























HANDOVER  - The Mayor of Poole, Councillor Lindsay Wilson accepts a gift from Ruka Bovadzhieva, the deputy Mayor of Burgas, Friday 19 May 2017.












CREATION - The European Maritime Day (EMD) was officially created on 20 May 2008 where the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering, Council President Janez Janša, and Commission President José Manuel Barroso signed a Joint Tripartite Declaration establishing it.




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