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Atlantic Action Plan
Bay of Biscay and the Celtic Sea

The Atlantic Action Plan aims to revitalise the marine and maritime economy in the Atlantic Ocean area. It shows how the EU's Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the "blue economy" while preserving the environmental and ecological stability of the Atlantic Ocean.

Promoting cooperation

The Action Plan encourages Member States to work together in areas where they were previously working individually.  They will now be able to share information, costs, results and best practices, as well as generate ideas for further areas of cooperation of maritime activities. This includes both traditional activities, such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and shipping, as well as emerging ones such as offshore renewables and marine biotech.


The Action Plan considers responses to the challenges of delivering growth, reducing the carbon footprint, using the sea's natural resources sustainably, responding effectively to threats and emergencies and implementing an "ecosystem" management approach in Atlantic waters. The priorities are to:

  • Promote entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment;
  • Improve accessibility and connectivity;
  • Create a socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development;

The agreed actions will focus on growing the tourism market, meeting the increasing demand for offshore installations, improving education and training in traditional and emerging maritime industries, as well as extending cooperation in the field of oceanic research in order to better assess climate change impacts. 

Related actions

The Plan follows from the Atlantic Strategy the Commission adopted in 2011 (see press release) and will contribute to the EU's "Blue Growth" strategy (press release). 

The investment and research priorities identified in the Atlantic Action Plan could be considered for EU financing in the new programming period 2014-2020.

Atlantic process 2016

"The Atlantic Strategy in Action" event, Brussels 18 April 2016 - POSTPONED to 8th June 2016

Atlantic process 2015

Atlantic stakeholder platform conference, 29 October 2015, Brest

Atlantic workshops 2015

Atlantic process 2014

Atlantic Stakeholder Platform, 20 January 2015, Porto

Atlantic workshops 2014

Key actors 2014-2015

Atlantic forum 2012-2013

Funding, timeline and key actors

Atlantic Forum workshops 2012-2013

Public call for suggestions for key investment and research priorities (closed)

Blue Growth infographic

More info


  • 29/04/2016 - A summit for the Mediterranean

    Commissioner Karmenu Vella was invited to deliver a speech at the “Mediterranean Leadership Summit” organized by the Economist in Malta on 28 and 29 April 2016. The conference comes at a time when the countries of the Mediterranean Sea are called upon to share their vision for stability, growth and competitiveness in the region.

  • 28/04/2016 - Commissioner Vella launches #MedFish4Ever campaign

    Many Mediterranean fish stocks are in a worrying state, with alarming consequences for income and jobs in the Mediterranean fishing sector. To highlight the need for action, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Karmenu Vella, yesterday launched the campaign #MedFish4Ever. More than 80 representatives from EU institutions, European regions, business, and NGOs gathered at the European Commission stand at the Seafood Global Expo in Brussels for the launch event.

  • 28/04/2016 - Brussels: Governments discuss the future of the Mediterranean at Seafood Expo

    Concerned with the steep decline of fish stocks in the Mediterranean, on 27 April Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella hosted a high level Ministerial meeting with fisheries ministers from countries bordering the Mediterranean. Nineteen out of twenty-two riparian countries were represented, as well as GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean), FAO and MEDAC (Mediterranean Advisory Council).