Seas and oceans are precious resources of our planet and important drivers for Europe's economy. Ten years ago, the EU launched a vision for an integrated approach to maritime affairs that has since grown into a very articulate and successful set of policies. From maritime spatial planning to the fight against illegal fishing, from ocean mapping to marine science, from habitat conservation to regional strategies, a number of initiatives have transformed the way Europe collectively goes about its maritime business. The next step, a new strategy on plastics and the circular economy that will act against marine litter, is a good example of how marine issues are now mainstreamed into EU policy-making. The EU has also been looking further afield. Last year it presented 50 concrete actions to international partners in an effort to improve ocean governance worldwide and has been forming alliances with third countries across the Mediterranean to rekindle the blue economy of the basin.
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, said: "This year marks a special anniversary and we have reason to celebrate.. But we can’t be complacent. A successful transition to a blue economy where growth and sustainability go hand in hand, doesn't come about overnight and doesn't happen by itself. Challenges like marine litter, ocean acidification or climate change will only get worse unless we act strongly and cohesively. If we want to leave a healthy ocean to future generations, we need serious commitment not least from the business community.''.
This year's European Maritime Day introduces corporate responsibility as a pivotal dimension of sustainability. The Conference will aim to secure commitment not just from governments and NGOs, but also from business leaders leading up to the next milestone - the international "Our Oceans" conference hosted by the European Union in Malta on 4-5 October.
European Maritime Day 201 features workshops and project pitches around key topics including: Innovation & Growth, People & Skills, Safety & Security, and Sustainability & Governance as well as plenary sessions with inspirational speeches, a leadership exchange, a practitioner's exchange on sea-basin strategies, and a project launch for the 2016 EMFF Blue Growth call. Moreover, a maritime exhibition and matchmaking meetings for stakeholders are scheduled. Flanking the Conference, the Poole Maritime Festival (15-21 May 2017), will strive to engage the general public and celebrate Poole and Dorset's local maritime heritage and environment. In parallel, almost 30 public events will be held in other EU regions to celebrate the 10th anniversary of European Maritime Day.
EMD 2017 is organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in cooperation with the Borough of Poole and the UK government.
On 20 May 2008, a joint declaration by the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU created European Maritime Day. The aim was to provide a forum for people from different areas of the ocean economy to meet, discuss cross-cutting issues, learn from each other, and develop joint visions and actions.
European Maritime Day is a series of events all over Europe, the main one being the European Maritime Day Conference, organised each year by the Commission in a different European country around a different theme and usually attracting over 1,000 guests. The Conference follows a modern format with plenary sessions with key personalities, interactive debates with renowned experts and workshops that are self-organised by stakeholders.
EMD historic line
• Brussels 2008: "A regional approach to the implementation of Maritime Policy"
• Rome 2009: "Integrated Maritime Policy and the contribution of maritime clusters"
• Gijón 2010: "How to foster innovation?"
• Gdansk 2011: "Maritime Policy: Putting People First"
• Gothenburg 2012: "Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts"
• Valletta 2013: "Coastal Development and Sustainable Maritime Tourism"
• Bremen 2014: "Innovation driving Blue Growth"
• Piraeus 2015: "Ports and Coasts, Gateways to Maritime Growth"
• Turku 2016: "Investing in blue growth – smart and sustainable solutions"
• Poole 2017: "The Future of our Seas".
For all the details on the conference and the complete programme, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeday & #EMD2017