The Arctic is changing rapidly and is increasingly high on the international agenda. It is our joint responsibility to protect the fragile Arctic environment for future generations whilst promoting the sustainable development of the region.
In response to these developments, the European Union has developed an integrated policy on the Arctic. Engagement with Arctic stakeholders is one of the cornerstones of the EU's Arctic policy, adopted in April 2016 by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
On 17 September 2018 the European Commission organised the 1st Arctic Stakeholder Conference “Knowing, developing and connecting the Arctic”.
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The Commission, the Council and the Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) for the period of 2021-2027. In line with the objectives of the European Green Deal and Sustainable Development Goal 14, it provides an ambitious support package for the achievement of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, the development of local coastal communities, the promotion of a sustainable blue economy, the implementation of the Union’s maritime policy towards safe and sustainably managed seas and oceans, and for international ocean governance.
The European Commission is in the process of shaping a new comprehensive approach to the blue economy. A stakeholder consultation on the future of the blue economy is currently underway and open till 7 December 2020.
The blue economy is growing fast and attracting investment worldwide. Its potential for sustainable economic growth, in line with the European Green Deal, is enormous. Unfortunately, not all economic activities at sea contribute to a healthy marine environment. A new report by the European Commission analyses why that is, and how we can turn the tide.