The Port of Gdansk for the first time ever received the ESPO 2021 award. For social integration and helping the people in need during the pandemic.
The award was received on behalf of the Port of Gdansk Authority by Piotr Bura, Director of Marketing and Communication Department and Anna Drozd, Spokesperson. The summary of the competition and the announcement of the winner took place on 9 November in Brussels, during the traditional ESPO award ceremony.
This was the 13th edition of the competition organised by ESPO (European Sea Ports Organisation). The theme of this year’s edition was “The role of ports in urban and community recovery”. The Port of Gdansk has a lot to offer in this area. Last year, ZMPG SA implemented several projects to improve the quality of life of the residents of districts organically associated with the port, namely Stogi and Nowy Port.
– We feel a part of this community, therefore we want to be closer to the residents and support their initiatives. We help on various levels, such as ecology, sport, health, education,” says Piotr Bura, Director of Marketing and Communication.
And what specifically has the Port done for the local community?
– We support local football clubs such as “Portowiec Gdańsk” and “Torus Wybrzeże”. During the summer holidays we organise Summer Cinema on the beach in Stogi. We subsidise interesting local initiatives such as the Social Library of the “Friendly Pomerania” Association, which operates in Stogi. Almost the entire year we were involved in actions related to fighting pandemics. We support medical rescuers from Pomerania, but we also help the elderly and sick from Nowy Port and Stogi, often providing them with the only hot meal of the day. We have donated 4 analysers for diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infections, personal protective equipment, and tourist fridges to Pomeranian hospitals. We have also purchased 10 fully-equipped tents, which can serve as temporary emergency rooms if necessary – enumerates Anna Drozd, Spokesperson of the Port of Gdansk.
After such a presentation, the independent jury of international experts chaired by Dimitrios Theologitis, former head of the Ports and Inland Navigation team in DG MOVE at the European Commission, had no doubts. It concluded that the Port of Gdansk played a significant role in recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic and contributed to the recovery of the local community and the region. Thus, the Port of Gdansk beat 10 projects from all over Europe which were submitted to the competition. Four ports made it to the top of the finals. These are, apart from Gdansk, ports of: Hamburg (Germany), Valencia (Spain) and Vigo (Spain).
– This award further reinforces our belief that good comes back when we open ourselves up to other people. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been supporting people on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus: paramedics throughout Pomerania, also seniors and sports initiatives aimed at children. The time of the pandemic has released a huge amount of energy and empathy in us, as well as a sense of solidarity, so necessary at this time. We are showing that solidarity with others, building good relationships, cooperation and responding to the needs of our neighbours “beyond the fence” – these are the values that make the world a better place. The award is for us a motivation for further actions in the future – says Łukasz Greinke, CEO of the Port of Gdansk.
The ESPO Award was established in 2009 to promote innovative port projects that improve the social integration of ports with the city or the wider local community. In this way, the award aims to stimulate sustainable development of European ports and the cities in which they operate.
In previous years, the award winners were the ports of Gijón (2009), Helsinki (2010), Stockholm (2011), Genoa (2012), Antwerp (2013), Koper (2014), Dublin (2015), Bremen (2016), Guadeloupe (2017), Rotterdam (2018), Dover (2019) and Algeciras.