As highlighted in the Commission's Blue Growth initiative on opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth, today's Council Conclusions stress the potential of the Blue economy to contribute to Europe’s overall economic recovery equally from established sectors such as shipping and maritime and coastal tourism, growing areas such as offshore wind and to emerging sectors such as blue biotechnology and ocean renewables from waves and tides. The Council thereby also called to further develop and implement the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy and endorsed the "Limassol Declaration" adopted on 8 October 2012 by European Ministers for maritime policy and by the European Commission, under the chairmanship of the Cyprus Presidency. In order to facilitate and realise this growth potential, institutions and stakeholders have to work together to develop the right conditions, including the implementation of maritime spatial planning, the achievement of good environmental status of European waters, seabed mapping and ocean forecasting and the efficient surveillance of the EU maritime domain. Additionally, the development of macro-regional and sea-basin strategies such as for the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Adriatic-Ionian, can provide tailor-made responses to the specificities of each region. The Council also recognises that developing the Blue economy requires financial support, welcomes the proposal for a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and encourages the EU to support the sustainable development of marine and maritime activities in the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said: “Through Blue Growth, we are showing the wealth that exists in the coastal and marine environment. If managed sustainably, Europe’s blue economy can provide us with further growth, competitiveness and job-creating opportunities. Today’s endorsement by Council is yet another important step in creating sustainable wealth and employment for the benefit of Europe’s citizens.”
More information: see IP/12/955