As part of his tour, Commissioner Vella attended the inauguration of the spring plenary meeting of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), and visited the Vehicle Emissions Laboratory (VELA).
The Commissioner praised scientists for their role in providing sound data and evidence to underpin the European Commission's policy proposals.
"Today, the European Union is scrutinised as never before. Our credibility rests on you. We need to be absolutely sure that our policies are based on reliable data. There is no room for alternative facts. With your insights, you can help society understand how the environment is changing, and how that will affect us. You can help us see the impact of our decisions, and identify the ones that really matter," Commissioner Vella said.
Recent work carried out by the JRC within the areas of fisheries and maritime affairs includes reports on marine litter, wind energy, and ocean energy. According to the JRC Ocean Energy Status Report 2016, for example, Europe is the global leader in the development of ocean energy technologies, hosting most of global developers (52% of tidal stream and 60% of wave energy developers). In particular tidal energy has made significant progress towards commercialisation between 2014 an 2016, culminating in the installation of the first tidal energy array in the Shetland islands, followed by the four 1.5 MW rated turbines deployed as part of the Meygen project in the Pentland Firth in November 2016.