Algeria is a key partner for Europe in contributing to the sustainable management of resources and developing the blue economy in the Mediterranean. The visit follows the agreement reached in Catania last February by EU Mediterranean Ministers that urgent action is needed to reverse the worrying decline of fish stocks in the Mediterranean and surmounting pressure on the competitiveness of the fisheries sector.
"The Mediterranean is a politically, culturally and economically diverse sea-basin having shared resources and potential, vital for the entire region. Healthy ecosystems are vital to keep generating wealth; a healthy Mediterranean Sea where natural richness is used responsibly will enable us to harness the full potential of the blue economy contributing significantly towards driving regional competitiveness and stability", said Commissioner Vella.
During his visit, Commissioner Vella is scheduled to meet with the Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal. He will also meet with Mr Abdelouahab Nouri, Minister of Water Resources and Environment, before visiting a small fishing harbour at port El Djamila. In the afternoon, he will be received by Mr Boudjema Talai, Minister for Transport and by Mr Sid Ahmed Ferroukhi, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.
The European Commission is looking to intensify regional dialogue, and to this end, increase the role of the Union for the Mediterranean. Commissioner Vella will invite the Algerian government to a Ministerial conference on 27 April in Brussels. Their participation will be important to support ambitious measures to be proposed at the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) annual session in May 2017.