We secured a great deal on deep sea fishing at my first EU fisheries Council on Monday, had our first Commissioners' energy union meeting, and ended the week with Richard Rubbish from the 'Generation Awake' campaign. The past week was a good sign of both the diversity of subjects and the centrality of our focus: job creation, sustainability and engagement.
From the 1 November, I realised that there were two main challenges. The first was to ensure that we merge our agenda with the strategic ambitions of this Commission. The second is to do our own 'merging' in coordination between the two excellent Directorates-General for Environment and Maritime and Fisheries. On both we are making great progress.
President Juncker has rightly prioritized job creation and genuine engagement with EU citizens and residents. Happily, my portfolio of environment, maritime and fisheries matches this focus perfectly. A watchword of the first weeks of the Commission has been sustainability. In job creation terms this means creating and maintaining jobs that provide a long term future for the worker and for the environment in which he or she lives. This is why I will be making Blue and Green growth a central pillar of my work.
For example, I am delighted to say that I will be speaking at the launch of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) on Tuesday. Half a million people work in the maritime sectors of the Adriatic and Ionian region, but with an innovative, coordinated strategy, this could increase significantly. With the Italian Presidency and the presence of 8 Foreign Ministers from the region, we hope the launch of EUSAIR will be a great success.
Later in the week (Thursday) I meet with Omar Gueye, the Senegalese Fisheries Minister. He is in town to sign a sustainable fisheries partnership agreement with the EU. This is good for EU countries, good for local fishermen, and good for local sustainable development, with 14 million euros being invested over 5 years.
I end the week at the Business and bio-diversity conference where I look forward to sharing the platform with Tony Juniper, Guy Sidos, Laurent Piermont and Tim Haywood.
In the coming weeks I will travel to Venice, Lyon and Copenhagen. I look forward to telling you more over the coming days.
Lastly, don't forget that the European Week for Waste Reduction, for which I accepted a patronage together with my friend and colleague Vytenis Andriukaitis, starts on 22 November. To find out how you can get involved, visit the EWWR website.