Stressing the need to create a 'true global ocean governance project', Mr Vella said that the EU could not shy away from taking a major role in this debate: "Our oceans are a global resource. But many tell me that the current international ocean governance framework is not effective enough. Europe has a firm place in global fisheries and it has a large maritime economy. The size of our exclusive economic zone alone gives us the responsibility to play a global role. So I believe that the European Union should lead this project by engaging with our international organisations and partners.
In June, the Commission therefore launched a public consultation on international ocean governance
. Commissioner Vella is also undertaking a 'listening tour', to broaden the scope of the exercise and gather suggestions and ideas from partners around the globe. The tour kicked off at the World Ocean Summit in Portugal in June and is set to continue with discussions among the EU's North Atlantic partners in Malta this week.
Based on the results of both the consultation and the listening tour, the Commission will consider follow-up action early next year to indicate how the EU thinks our oceans can best be managed – and how we think the EU can contribute.
Contributions to the consultation are still possible until 15 September.
Consultation on international ocean governance
Ocean governance 'listening tour': Commissioner to visit Ireland this week
Building the Blue Growth agenda: Commission asks public its views on EU's role in shaping international ocean governance