The purpose of the event was to celebrate OCEAN’s anniversary and bring together a range of actors in the sector for an interesting debate and discussion on the future of European Ship Supply, particularly in the context of the Union Customs Code and the EU Commission‘s action plan on VAT.
The CELEBRATORY EVENTS for OCEAN’s 40th Anniversary took place on 14th & 15th June 2016 in the Leopold Brussels Hotel EU.
On Tuesday, 14th June 2016, the 21st meeting of the OCEAN Working Group on Customs & Taxation took place and was followed by an Informal Dinner.
On 15 June 2016 the OCEAN Board had invited special guests to a celebratory lunch in the "Salon d'Anges" of the Hotel Leopold in Central Brussels for the occasion of OCEAN's 40th anniversary.
Champagne was employed to toast to OCEAN when Chairman Cupido opened the festivities, welcoming national ship suppliers associations from all parts of maritime Europe, technical experts of OCEAN’s customs working group, and, of course, the OCEAN’s guests of honor. These included high ranking individuals such as Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Phd, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Manuela Cabral, Head of Unit in charge of "Risk Management and Security (AEO)" and Mrs. Susanne Aigner, "Head of Unit" in charge of Customs legislation (UCC)" in the Directorate General TAXUD of the EU Commission.
Celebrators were then treated to a scrumptious, three course meal, which was accompanied by congratulatory speeches.
In his speech, Mr. Cupido thanked the previous chairpersons of OCEAN of the 21st century for their leadership and safely navigating OCEAN through sometime “stormy waters”. He recalled important moments in the Organizations illustrious history, including the important work on the 1976 EEC ship suppliers’ regulation. It was this expertise and deep knowledge of maritime affairs and ship supplying which brought OCEAN to the EU negotiation table as Member of the Trade Contact Group of the EU Commission: “We value our membership in the TCG and our very good and constructive cooperation with the EU Commission greatly”, the chairman said. Dirk Cupido then commented on current affairs with a clear message.
The current loss of confidence and purpose that is felt by many toward the European Union at present is resulting in a damaging rise of nationalism, which is rebuilding the emotional and physical borders that OCEAN fought to abolish for 40 years: “We need to fight for Europe, now is not the time to be silent! Let’s make sure they do not split our continent again” he concluded.