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Ministers from seven Black Sea countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine – are meeting in Bucharest today to endorse the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea. With this, the Black Sea region joins the rest of the sea basins bordering the EU in setting a basin-wide initiative for more, and more sustainable, economic growth.

I am diving in the clear waters off the coast of Calabria. A few fish pass slowly to my left. Looking down, I spot several big stone blocks on the seabed. As I move closer to take a better look, a voice in my ear tells me these marble slabs were being carried by a large Roman Empire barge when it sank in the 3rd century AD.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella has opened the 2019 European Maritime Day conference in Lisbon. This year, the main focus is on boosting a “blue” economy, the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, through entrepreneurship, investment, and research and innovation. On this occasion, the European Commission launches the second edition of its Blue Economy Report.