The European Union Integrated Maritime Policy: an Atlantic and Mediterranean Approach

20 May 2021 - 20 May 2021. From 15:30  To 17:00 | Conference | English | IEMed
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In Europe, oceans, seas and coasts are crucial drivers of economic prosperity. They provide a livelihood for millions of Europeans, whether they work in tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, or offshore energy. The wealth created by the blue economy – all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts –, is considerable, reaching a turnover of €750 billion in 2018. Against this backdrop, the blue economy has still an enormous untapped potential for growth, innovation, jobs and investments that can contribute to reduce poverty, boost inclusive development and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. However, this potential lies on healthy seas, oceans and coasts, threatened by climate change and environmental degradation.  

In order to provide a more coherent approach towards these issues, the European Union has developed an Integrated Maritime Policy (EUIMP) which seeks to increase cooperation and coordination between different policy areas, and foster cross-cutting policies such as blue growth. It has among its objectives the development of a sustainable blue economy, drawing on the EU Blue Growth strategy and in line with the UN Agenda 2030 (SDG 14).  

The EUIMP notably lies on sea basin strategies to ensure tailor-made measures and foster cooperation between countries. These include the Mediterranean Basin where the blue economy potential to contribute to economic prosperity is particularly important but facing at the same time particularly acute challenges within a fragile ecosystem: mass tourism, overfishing, pollution, illegal fishing, coastal degradation, climate change and marine litter.  

On the occasion of the celebrations of the European Maritime Day 2021, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in collaboration with the Government of Spain, the European Commission, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), are organising the conference “The EU Integrated Maritime Policy: an Atlantic and Mediterranean Approach”. This event aims at highlighting achievements made in the transition towards a sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean Basin, including successful initiatives and policies. Speakers will outline the current priority areas and policy challenges, before shedding light on emerging sectors and trends in the blue economy that offer great potential for the post-COVID-19 recovery and which call for greater cooperation, especially in the Western Mediterranean sub-basin. A discussion with experts and practitioners involved in fostering a sustainable Mediterranean blue economy follows the presentations to deepen the reflection on the paths to foster sustainable blue growth in the region.

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