Press Release: Ocean Health: Projects that Innovate

Between 2014 and 2019, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund has financed many new ideas all over Europe to support both fisheries and the blue economy. It has helped many innovative projects thrive while helping in coordinating maritime cooperation across borders. The newly published brochure presents an overview of some of these disruptive projects working to protect oceans and their health.

Event: Maritime Security and the Blue Economy (Brussels, 5 February 2020)

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Press Release: Civil society representatives from the EU and ACP countries highlight the potential of the blue economy as a key factor for development

On 22 November, participants in the 17th regional seminar of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups adopted a declaration highlighting the potential of the blue economy as a key factor for development in many eastern and southern African countries.

Press Release: Roadmap for the Blue Bioeconomy

As Steering Group of the Blue Bioeconomy Forum we are now proud to present you this Roadmap for the blue bioeconomy that should help the blue bioeconomy fulfil its potential and flourish. We thank all people that contributed to this Roadmap and the discussions leading to it, and wish this Roadmap is used well!

UPDATED – Event: 17th Regional Seminar of ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups (Port Louis, Mauritius, 21-22 November 2019)

Update – a related press release has been published.

The EESC is organising a seminar on sustainable infrastructure, the role of civil society in trade, the blue economy and other ACP-EU issues.

OPP Meeting Summary: Competitiveness Council – Conclusions on the updated EU bioeconomy strategy (29 November 2019)

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Official Journal (C Series): Opinions of the Committee of the Regions

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Call for Proposals: Blue Economy Window Call

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Council Conclusions on Oceans and Seas

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Press Release: Oceans and seas threatened by climate change: Council adopts conclusions

The Council today adopted conclusions on oceans and seas, stressing that climate change is a direct and existential threat to life in oceans and seas globally. It calls for increased policy action at all levels of government to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. It notes with great concern the warming of European regional seas at a higher pace than average.

Conclusions on the updated Bioeconomy Strategy “A sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe: strenghtening the connection between economy, society and the environment”

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Report: From a drop in the ocean to a wave of change – Review of Commissioner Vella’s mandate (2014-2019)

Over the course of my 5-year mandate as the European Union’s Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, I have had many opportunities to consider this phrase. In debates, I have heard the phrase too many times: “It’s just a drop in the ocean”.

Yet after these five extraordinary and fulfilling years, I am left with hope. Why? Because I have worked with so many people who are passionate about furthering the green and blue agenda. NGOs, campaigners, yes, but also business leaders, politicians at every level, economists and many individual citizens. In addition, I am more convinced than ever that change is happening.

‘I/A’ Item Note: Draft Council conclusions on Oceans and Seas – Adoption

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Press Release: Major new EU contribution to the EU-China Blue Partnership for the Oceans

As a follow-up to exchanges of information between European and Chinese scientists and engineers during the 2017 EU-China Blue Year and follow-up discussions in Tianjin last year, a contract funded under the Partnership Instrument was signed on 31 October cementing a major EU contribution to the EU-China Blue Partnership for the Oceans.

UPDATED – Agenda: Friends of the Presidency Group – Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) (6 November 2019)

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Commission Communication: Maritime economies in the EU – Atlantic action plan 2.0

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Press Release: The blue bio-economy, an economic sector with enormous growth opportunities – EESC calls for new initiatives

The potential of the blue bio-economy remains untapped in the EU. The EESC therefore recommends introducing pan-European pilot projects, and based on their results tapping the sector’s full potential with the involvement of both local stakeholders and the scientific community.

Briefing: Ocean governance and blue growth Challenges, opportunities and policy responses

This briefing updates an earlier edition published for the High-level conference on oceans held by the European Parliament on 19 March 2019.

Event: Key environmental challenges & the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (Brussels, 19 November 2019)

In her Agenda for Europe, Commission President elect Ursula von der Leyen gave top priority to environmental and climate issues, referring to environmental protection as the European Union’s most urgent action. In order for the EU to progressively reduce its environmental impact and achieve a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, it needs to ensure sustainable food systems and provide effective water management; this is fundamental for human health, social and economic development as well as for our planet’s ecosystem.  In addition, sustainable forestry represents an important solution towards the conservation of biodiversity and combating climate change. In fact, even if forests and wooded areas in the European territory – representing 43% of its land – have grown over the last decades, recent major wildfires across the continent show that conservation and sustainable use of forests are still not fully ensured by current policies.

As a result, this event will bring together policy-makers, the private sector and NGOs to jointly discuss the key environmental challenges ahead and, moreover, the crucial importance of delivering the SDGs.

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