European Maritime Day 2020

Established in 2008, European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual EU meeting point on maritime affairs and sustainable blue growth, and the place where ‘Ocean Leaders Meet’ as the slogan goes. It is also a public event reaching out to young people and citizens across Europe through local events under the ‘EMD in my Country’ label. EMD has not only enabled many project partnerships and co-operations among stakeholders, it has also contributed to getting the need of sustainable management of ocean resources higher on the EU’s agenda. Stakeholders generally find the European Maritime Day a great opportunity to touch base with strategic partners, to make new contacts and network, get visibility for their projects, ideas, activities and achievements, gain new insights into the evolving EU policy and funding landscape and provide input into European Maritime Policy formulation.

Past themes

  • Lisbon 2019: Blue entrepreneurship, research, innovation and investment to boost sustainable technologies and emerging value chains in the wider ocean economy.



  • Burgas 2018: A Blue Growth Initiative for Research and Innovation in the Black Sea
  • Poole 2017: The Future of our Seas. The European Maritime Day celebrated its tenth anniversary.
  • Turku 2016: Investing in blue growth – smart and sustainable solutions
  • Piraeus 2015: Ports and Coasts, Gateways to Maritime Growth
  • Bremen 2014: Innovation driving Blue Growth
  • Valletta 2013: Coastal Development and Sustainable Maritime Tourism
  • Gothenburg 2012: Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts
  • Gdansk 2011: Maritime Policy: Putting People First
  • Gijón 2010: How to foster innovation?
  • Rome 2009: Integrated Maritime Policy and the contribution of maritime clusters
  • Brussels 2008: A regional approach to the implementation of Maritime Policy

The European Maritime Day (EMD) Conference and Expo is the annual two-day event during which Europe’s maritime community meet to network, discuss and forge joint action on maritime affairs and sustainable blue economy.  EMD Conference and Expo is the place where ‘Ocean Leaders Meet’. It provides an interactive experience to catch up on the current state of play on a broad range of issues concerning the blue economy and the marine environment and discuss ways of moving forward. It features a large number of excellent speakers, multiple breakout sessions and project pitch sessions organised by stakeholders and European Commission services as well as hundreds of B2B meetings. EMD targets professionals from businesses, governments, public institutions, NGOs and academia.

EMD 2020 is organised jointly by the European Commission, the City of Cork and Our Ocean Wealth Summit. It will be celebrated on 14 and 15 May 2020 in Cork City Hall together with Our Ocean Wealth’ (OOW), Ireland’s flagship annual event for the marine sector and will be held back-to-back with the ‘SeaFest’, Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime celebration.

Bringing European Maritime Day 2020 to your country

There is not only one EMD. In parallel with the EMD Conference in Cork (14 & 15 May 2020), a series of local EMD events will be organised all over Europe for the public at large. This enables the many European regions with a maritime culture to join in the celebrations and highlight the vital role of the seas and oceans.

In My Country events

The public events reach out to young people and citizens across Europe through local events under the ‘EMD in my Country’ label.

The “fun and game” component of these events, mainly meant for a younger public, makes them particularly attractive to the general audience.

Ocean awareness and activism has been rising steadily in recent years. In 2019 145 events were organised all over Europe and beyond in 23 different countries, attracting 25.000 participants, making a record in EMD history!: beach-cleaning activities, guided tours of ports, workshops, conferences, seminars and 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 and port facilities etc.

For 2020 the focus will be on youth activities. We especially encourage all the young ocean activists and youth organisations working for the promotion of sustainable oceans to apply.

‘EMD in my Country’ 2020 will take place from April to June 2020.