At the core of European Maritime Day is a two-day conference. High-level plenary sessions including inspirational speakers, leadership exchanges and stakeholder workshops attract experts and stakeholders from across Europe and beyond.
European Maritime Day 2023
The 2023 edition of the European Maritime Day will take place in Brest, France, on 24-25 May as physical event.
High level sessions
- new approach to a sustainable blue economy
- maritime security
- innovation in the blue economy
A special session on fisheries will also take place.
Pitch stages sessions
External interlocutors will present ongoing projects in a pitch stage format, specifically in relation to the maritime sector and to the transition towards a sustainable blue economy.
Sea’Ties Round Table – EMD cities
A parallel Round Table discussing challenges that port cities are confronted with will also take place, hosted by representatives from The Netherlands, France and Italy.
At the western tip of Europe, open to the ocean and the world, Brest is the second largest city in Brittany. Its area hosts over 422,000 inhabitants.
Of all the French regions, Brittany is truly the most intimately related to the sea and the ocean: at the crossroads of the Channel and the Atlantic ocean, close to one of the main sea routes, Brittany boasts 2,600 km of coastline, 12 islands and 166 ports. The sea here is a way of life: 65,000 Breton jobs are of a maritime nature.
Exploring Brest and its surroundings means, first of all, taking advantage of the presence of the sea, the wild coast, and the beauty of the landscapes. Attracted by this remarkable environment, and one of the most beautiful bays in the world (18,000 hectares), more and more visitors come to enjoy the urban dynamics of Brest and its city center.
Labelled City of Art and History, Brest welcomes lovers of culture and discovery. A new epicenter of Brest’s flourishing creative and economic scene, Les Ateliers des Capucins have become a place where anything is possible. With service from the first urban cable car of France, the district continues its metamorphosis, as does the rest of the area.
Brest and its area are famous in numerous ways: for their gastronomic specialties (crepes, seafood, salted butter caramel, cider, kig ha farz, Plougastel strawberries, vegetables...), for the organisation of the International Maritime Festival which, every four years, attracts thousands of boats, sailors, and sea lovers.
Brest hosts the ocean discovery centre Océanopolis, the biggest tourist attraction in Brittany dedicated to marine biodiversity. It was recently complemented by the ocean’s gallery “70.8”, presenting the latest maritime innovations.
With the naval base of the French Strategic Oceanic Force and headquarters of the Atlantic Maritime Prefecture, Brest is today a major place for maritime security and maritime safety. It also hosts the national cybersecurity coordination centre for the maritime sector; France Cyber Maritime.
Brest is the leading French naval repair port, and a world-class centre of excellence in the marine science and technology sector (21,500 maritime jobs) at the forefront of ocean knowledge and ocean/climate interactions.
Home to Ifremer (French Institute for Ocean Science), SHOM (French Naval hydrographic and oceanographic service), the University of Western Brittany (ranked 11th in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of Oceanography) and many other higher education and research institutions (31,500 students overall), Brest is the cradle of the Campus mondial de la mer. Knowledge, exchange, and innovation are at the heart of this community open to the world.
Brest and its maritime sector are also home to
- the institute for energy transition France Energies Marines
- the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Nord France (European incubator of companies using space technologies)
Brest stands out as well in other nationally and internationally recognised fields of excellence: agriculture/agro-food, banking/insurance, health, and digital (French Tech capital).
Brest has a strong background in hosting national, European and International events.
In 2022, the city hosted the One Ocean Summit, an international conference dedicated to the preservation of the ocean and related maritime issues. Announced by the President of the French Republic, it was organised with the cooperation of the United Nations and the World Bank as part of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union 2022. Representatives of governments from all continents attended this event.
How to come to Brest
Brest is connected to Caen, Nantes and Rennes by toll-free highways.
A high-speed rail (TGV) connects Brest to Paris in an average time of 3h50 (3h14 for the shortest trip). 15 connections are provided daily between Paris and Brest. Regional trains provides connections to Nantes, Rennes and throughout western France.
Brest-Bretagne International Airport is the main Breton airport, with more than 1.2 million passengers a year. It offers 6 international connections, 4 to 5 flights a day to Paris and 4 flights a day to Lyon.
A shuttle bus connects the airport to the tramway, 7 days a week starting at 5.30 until 23.00. It only takes 20 minutes to get downtown.
There are many options for accommodation in Brest. For information and booking: www.brest-metropole-tourisme.fr
Brest Expo, parc des expositions de Penfeld
Route de Brest
Brest International Maritime Festival
The most emblematic event in Brest is also the one that crushes the attendance records with each edition. Brest International Maritime Festival, the latest edition of which dates back to 2016, is the largest European gathering of boats. For six days, it attracted 715,000 visitors and 990 accredited journalists who came to admire the world's greatest tall ships, traditional boats from around the world, 9,000 sailors, 3,000 musicians, nautical parades, fireworks and the grand parade between Brest and Douarnenez that gathers thousands of boats.
Next stop: July 12-17, 2024!
Offsetting of emissions
The European Commission applies measures to ensure that the events it organises or co-organises are as green and sustainable as possible. A specific target for EMD is to reduce its CO2 footprint by offsetting the emissions via green projects delivering value for the environment.
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