Maritime policy: new strategy for growth and jobs in the Atlantic Ocean area

Source: DG MARE, EC

Brussels, 25 November 2011 – On Monday 28 November, in Lisbon, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, will present a new maritime strategy for growth and jobs in the Atlantic Ocean area, just adopted by the European Commission. The strategy identifies challenges and opportunities in the region and takes stock of existing initiatives that can support growth and job creation. The strategy will be implemented through an Action Plan in 2013. The Commission calls on stakeholders to help design concrete projects which would be able to benefit from EU funding. The Commission will facilitate the development of this Action Plan through a series of workshops and discussion groups that will be open to a wide array of participants – the ‘Atlantic Forum’. The new strategy is developed under the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy and follows similar strategies for the Baltic, the Arctic and the Mediterranean areas. Commissioner Damanaki will present the strategy at the high-level Lisbon Atlantic Conference and Stakeholder Day, on 28-29 November, where a first discussion will take place.

Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in charge of maritime affairs and fisheries, said: “Europe urgently needs new far-sighted strands of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in a new low-carbon ‘blue economy’. Emerging maritime industries have every chance to become one of the pillars of Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. The collaborative platform offered through our Integrated Maritime Policy can help make the Atlantic region internationally renowned for its maritime excellence.”

The Commission invites all stakeholders – national, regional and local authorities, the industry, civil society, and think tanks – to contribute their expertise and ideas to the Action Plan through the ‘Atlantic Forum’. It will comprise a set of workshops focused on the challenges and opportunities outlined in the strategy, and an online discussion forum. The Forum will be launched in 2012 and dissolved in 2013, after it will have contributed to the Action Plan. The strategy does not foresee additional funding for its implementation: actions will be supported from existing and future EU funds.

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