“The blue economy is part of the Green Deal and will play a crucial role” (Commissioner Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries)
“Citizens are to be part of the solution” (Commissioner Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth)
The two Commissioners joined forces to discuss issues regarding the ocean and the Green Deal with citizens in an online dialogue called Oceans Live: Together for our Blue Planet. Questions ranged from the plastics and waste to the role of science and education and online viewers wanted to know why more attention is not given to the impact of climate change on oceans. Both Commissioners recalled, in their respective fields, the challenges of the blue economy, referring to biodiversity strategy (Commissioner Sinkevičius) as well as to the available instruments such as the European innovation Council or Erasmus+ (Commissioner Gabriel).
Citizens asked questions about to what extent the Commissioners would see the blue economy contributing to carbon neutrality and what the is EU doing to support young entrepreneurs when it comes to blue economy.
When asked about how people could engage more on the issue of oceans, the Commissioners were unanimous in emphasizing how important it is to build synergies, to engage the member states and to raise awareness through education and targeted programs. Commissioner Gabriel mentioned in this context her desire to engage citizens from an early age and foster a sustained dialogue based on participatory democracy.
This period of recovery offers, according to the two Commissioners, a unique opportunity to multiply the levels of action, to achieve real governance of the oceans and to mobilize energies through education and culture. "2020 has to be the year of our oceans", said Commissioner Sinkevičius.