Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Mr. Karmenu Vella opened the 2019 European Maritime Day conference in Lisbon. This year, the main focus of the conference was on boosting a “blue” economy, the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, through entrepreneurship, investment, and research and innovation.
Utilising this occasion, the European Commission also launched the second edition of its Blue Economy Report. This year’s report incorporates new elements and content, including the maritime defence and the maritime equipment sectors. A preliminary analysis by sea basin has been added, as well as a number of in-depth case studies, e.g. on the economic impacts of marine protected areas or the contribution of the research and education sector to blue economy jobs. Finally, the second edition comprises a section on ecosystem services and natural capital, addressing the costs and economic impact of climate change and mitigation measures. A Blue Indicators IT tool, also launched at the same time, allows citizens to easily visualise, extract and download much of the report data. Users will also be able to download the full report, as well as the accompanying infographics and detailed methodology.
In addition to the report, the European Commission used the European Maritime Day to provide in-depth updates about several other ongoing maritime policy initiatives, such as:
- the Technical Assistance facility for Investment in the Blue Economy, which will assume its activities before summer and help blue economy start-ups and SMEs to become bankable for future calls within a planned Blue Economy Investment Platform;
- the launch of the operational phase of the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE), an important building block of the overall EU maritime surveillance framework, with the involvement of the European Maritime Safety Agency;
- the progress on the ocean literacy platform ‘EU4Oceans’, to be launched in autumn, which will bring together European groups, networks and organisations active in ocean preservation and ocean literacy, thereby paving the way for a ‘European Ocean Alliance’. The ongoing call for tenders closes on 14 June.