The Launching Event of the Center of Excellence in Maritime Affairs (CEMA) took place on 27th May, 2021, at the premises of Durres Port Authority with the participation of Mr. Pirro Vengu, CEO of Durres Port Authority, Ms. Belinda Balluku, Albanian Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Matej Zakonsjek, Director of Transport Community Secretariat, Ms. Kseanela Sotirofski, Rector of University of Durres and Ms. Krisela Hackaj, Executive Director of Cooperation and Development Institute.
CEMA is a joint initiative of the Port of Durres, of University of Durres and of Cooperation and Development Institute, with the support and guidance of the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat and Albanian Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy.
In this framework, the Port of Durres as the biggest port in Albania, serves as the major logistics center in South-East Europe and the gateway to Corridor 8 in the Balkan Peninsula, while the University of Durres pays a strong importance to maritime knowledge and skills. On the other hand, Cooperation and Development Institute is a think tank specialized in EU-Western Balkans connectivity, EU accession and regional cooperation.
This initiative takes place under the necessity for supporting careers, research, innovation & regional cooperation in the maritime industry. As such, CEMA will serve as a training center and capacity building facility for maritime affairs, as well as a meeting point between maritime sector and academia.
CEMA will support the Durres Port Authority and other maritime national and regional partners in the Adriatic-Ionian region in their efforts to promote their initiatives regarding transformation into logistics-centered hubs, enhance their regional footprint as maritime services providers, improve their governance, identify innovative solutions to tackle climate change, support growth and increase resilience.
Finally, CEMA will strive be a regional Innovation Hub in a multi-actor multi-sector framework by providing tailored research and a collaborative platform between state, local government, academia, business, think tanks and other maritime stakeholders in the region.
The launch of CEMA is an associated event of the 7th edition of Tirana Connectivity Forum organized by CDI. TCF 2021 will promote the concept of connectivity as a development approach adapted to SEE6, that provides a bottom-up integration complementary dynamic, a multi-actor, ever-changing, net-like, symbiotic, entangled fabric that keeps the region permanently connected with EU and nourishes resilient growth.
Read more about this initiative here.