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European Shortsea Network annual report

The European Shortsea Network (ESN), a networking platform for Shortsea Promotion Centres (SPCs) in 21 countries, has published its annual report for 2008. The SPCs participating in the network are based in Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK and Turkey, which joined in 2008.

The Malta Shortsea Promotion Centre (MSPC), founded in 2005, is an independent non-profit organisation and is managed and administered by an executive council which includes a representation of all the members.

Its overall objective is to act as the focal point for promoting and improving short sea shipping links in Malta to enhance the maritime sector contribution to the local economy and Malta's cohesion with Europe and its neighbours.

In the report, you can read about a broad range of activities that the centres organised throughout last year. It is exciting to see how their work has increased awareness of Shortsea shipping among a wider audience. This has provided more opportunities for yet more interest groups to take advantage of Shortsea shipping paired with other transport modes.

The report highlights the importance of promotion to ensure the visibility of Shortsea shipping and to reach out to target stakeholders. The importance of a strengthened co-operation between the various countries is also highlighted.

The ESN network has continued to expand over the last years, and continues to strengthen the co-operation between its members, for example through the European School of Shortsea Shipping.

The report and other information is available at www.shortsea.org.mt.

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