2023 EuDA Annual Conference at Stanhope Hotel Brussels
“Blue Economic Actors and Assets, Critical to deliver Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy”

21 November 2023
Following the global confinement due to the COVID pandemic and subsequently the war in Ukraine, Europe faced in a three-year period major disruptions of its supply chains and realised that many sectors of its economy, including the strategic ones, were too dependent on only few supplying nations, which do not necessarily share Europe’s core values.
To enable its economic growth, Europe needs to safeguard its supply chains, in particular, its most strategic transport assets and accesses to resources, and to further expand its geopolitical diversification. Within the strategic assets and cornerstones of Europe’s global supply chain, waterborne transport infrastructures play a critical role. This was widely and repeatedly recognised during the recent crises. Therefore, with its Open Global Gateway, Europe intends to reinvigorate and secure its main multimodal trade routes, hubs and flows.
Europe still has a global competitive advantage in building, operating and maintaining waterborne transport infrastructures. However, over the past decade, this European leadership has been progressively weakened and is now even under threat by the relentless and determined use of unfair trade practices. Non-EU State-owned Enterprises (non-EU SoEs) are the spearheading instruments used by some nations to fulfil their economic and geopolitical ambitions. This ‘aggressive’ use of economic power and resources to deliberately weaken and progressively eliminate competition in targeted markets is also known as hybrid warfare. When the stage of economic dependence is reached, the home country’s influence is significantly increased in the area.
In 2019, Europe realised that its relationship with China was multifaceted:
“China is, simultaneously, in different policy areas, a cooperation partner […],
a negotiating partner […], an economic competitor […], and a systemic rival […].
The tools and modalities of EU engagement with China should also be differentiated […].”
When addressing unfair trade practices, there is no silver bullet and the only effective approach is through a strategic toolbox of “differentiated” but complementary trade instruments. Since 2019, Europe has built new legislative instruments and equipped itself with trade tools to defend its internal market and its industries against the toxic effects of these practices.
During our 2023 Annual Conference, representatives from the European Commission, Academia and Industry presented their views on these multipronged threats to Europe as well as the corresponding initiatives to adequately counter them: Economic Security, Foreign Subsidies Regulation and the Open Global Gateway. They exchanged their views on their respective strategies and the way to fill the remaining gaps. The floor was opened for lively and meaningful exchanges with the audience.

Conference Overview:

Welcome and Opening
Mr Kees van de Graaf
EuDA Vice-Chairman
Opening Keynote Speech
Trade Aspects of Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy
Mr Denis Redonnet
European Commission Deputy Director General for Trade
European Chief Trade Enforcement Officer
Blue Economic Actors and Assets, Critical to deliver Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy
Moderation: Ms Eleonora Catella, Business Europe Deputy Director for International Relations
New Forms of Competition Distortions
Presentation on the Concept of Economic Security
Prof. Dr Cind Du Bois Presentation
Royal Belgian Military Academy, Head of the Chair of Economics
EU Policy Instruments
Presentation on EU Strategy on Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR)
Ms Silvia Selandari Presentation
European Dredging Association, Director for Trade Affairs
Presentation on EU’s Global Gateway
Mr Lénaïc Georgelin Presentation
European Commission, DG INTPA Sustainable Transport and Urban Development
Feedback from the Field
Presentation on European Dredgers’ Challenges Inside and Outside Europe
Mr Paris Sansoglou Presentation
EuDA, Secretary General
Closing Keynote Speech
Way Forward for the Construction Contractors
Mr Karel De Gucht
Former European Commissioner for Trade
Belgian Minister of State and
President of the VUB Institute for European Studies

View the Conference Messages and the Conference Programme in detail.

EuDA @ European Shipping Summit
Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels
EuDA Session on “Maritime transport, enabling Europe’s open strategic autonomy through the Global Gateway”

19 September 2023

2022 EUDA Annual Conference at Sofitel Brussels Europe
“The European Green Deal: How to deliver on the environment, the society and the economy?”

23 November 2022

EuDA Internal Workshop on
“EU Emissions Trading System & Other ‘Fit For 55’ Initiatives For Dredgers”

Wednesday 16 February 2022, 10.00 Via Ms Teams

European Shipping Week 2020
EuDA’s Brainstorming Workshop
“Trade Defence Instruments for Services or Enforcement of State Aid Regulations to all non-EU State-owned Enterprises ?”

Monday 17 February 2020 – The Hotel, Brussels

2019 EUDA Annual Conference at Stanhope Hotel Brussels

14 November 2019

2018 EUDA 25th Anniversary – Annual Conference at Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels

15 November 2018

2017 EUDA Annual Conference at Stanhope Hotel Brussels

15 November 2017

2016 EuDA Annual Conference, at Stanhope Hotel Brussels
New Opportunities for the European Dredgers?

15 November 2016

PIANC’s ‘Think Climate’ coalition
UN FCCC COP 21 Paris

30 November-6 December 2015

2015 EuDA Annual General Meeting Conference, at Stanhope Hotel Brussels
'State Aid and Tied Aid'
Different Approaches to Global Competition

17 November 2015

ACI’s European Dredging Summit, Antwerp, Belgium
‘Gaining Project Approval, welcoming efficient & environmentally-sensitive Dredging Operations’
Supported by EuDA

7-8 October 2015

EuDA-CEDA joint Workshop at European Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen
‘Sustainable Dredging Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation’
Solutions from the European Dredging Community

12 May 2015

Innovations improving Maritime Safety, at Port of Zeebrugge

5 March 2015

2014 EuDA Annual General Meeting Conference, at Stanhope Hotel Brussels
'Breaking Trade Barriers Around The World'
Special focus on the World Dredging Markets

13 November 2014

EuDA 20th Anniversary Celebration, at Bibliothèque Solvay
'The European Dredging Industry: A Maritime Success Story'

7 November 2013

EuDA Annual General Meeting Conference, at Stanhope Hotel
'Measures to reduce CO2 Emissions from Shipping'
Review of current Legislation & Policies

14 November 2012

EuDA Annual General Meeting Open-Part, at Sheraton Brussels Airport
'Threats and Opportunities from the Sea'
European Dredgers' contribution to some of the World's biggest Challenges

16 November 2011

Belgian Presidency Event with EuDA
'The European Dredging Industry presented to the European Council Shipping Working Group',
Aalst (BE) & Heusden (NL).

15 December 2010

EuDA Annual General Meeting Open-Part, at Sheraton Brussels Airport
"Man & Nature" Key Sustainable Issues for the European Dredgers

16 November 2010

Workshop on Green Innovations keep the European Dredgers at global leading edge,
Brussels, Silken Hotel.

3 November 2010

Workshop on Dredged Material and the Implementation of the new EU Waste Directive,
Brussels, EuDA offices.

29 April 2010

EuDA Annual General Assembly : Future Developments concerning State Aid to EU Maritime Transport, in the light of the rising threat from China


The 32nd IADC International Seminar on Dredging and Reclamation will take place,
in Delft, the Netherlands

15 -19 June 2009

EuDA Workshop 'Emissions' Presentations, Brussels, Belgium

6 November 2008

30th International Seminar on Dredging and Reclamation, Delft, The Netherlands

16 - 20 June 2008

Black Sea Coastal Association Varna, Bulgaria

25 - 27 September 2007

Seminar on Ports and Habitats

20 March 2003

Workshop "Waterways of Tomorrow"

09 December 2003