The European Commission adopted an updated action plan for a sustainable, resilient and competitive blue economy in the EU Atlantic area, covering France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
At a time of social and economic uncertainty, the EU is preparing the next generation of EU-funded programmes to foster economic recovery. The revamped action plan will give new impetus to the Atlantic maritime strategy and will strengthen the participating countries’ recovery efforts. It will contribute to the European Green Deal, a socially inclusive model of sustainable development and job creation while safeguarding marine and coastal environments and securing a healthy ocean.
The European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “In the midst of the crisis, more than ever, we must stay focused on making our future green: the EU Green Deal and the green transition should guide our recovery plan. The development of a sustainable blue economy, targeting specific challenges and opportunities at sea basin level, serves exactly these objectives. We must put green in the blue and blue in the green.’’
Focusing on offsetting the adverse socio-economic impact of the crisis, the new action plan proposes concrete actions for the development of the blue economy in the Atlantic, addressing challenges, such as:
The EU Atlantic Strategy and the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
The new action plan also has a strong international dimension in the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance including USA, and Canada, Brazil and South Africa. The participating Member States may decide, in consultation with the European Commission, to expand the membership of the Atlantic strategy to any interested state.
The action plan will reinforce cooperation among the participating countries and include coastal regions and stakeholders. A solid monitoring framework will measure progress and impact.
The main sources of funding will be European Structural and Investment Funds, including the future territorial cooperation programme in the Atlantic area and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). In addition to the national and regional funding, the action plan will also rely on sources such as Horizon Europe, Connecting Europe Facility, LIFE programme and innovative financial instruments managed by the European Investment Bank, such as the InvestEU programme for decarbonisation and the circular economy.
Among the plan’s four pillars there are a number of goals and actions which are of relevance for the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, namely pillar II (Blue skills and ocean literacy) and pillar IV (healthy ocean and resilient coasts).
The research activities implemented as part of the Galway and Belém Statements and the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance cut across all pillars. They give an international dimension to the Atlantic Action Plan and support its implementation by improving understanding of the changing Atlantic Ocean and its effects on coastal communities and by developing innovative solutions.
PILLAR I: PORTS AS GATEWAYS AND HUBS FOR THE BLUE ECONOMY
PILLAR II: BLUE SKILLS OF THE FUTURE AND OCEAN LITERACY
PILLAR III: MARINE RENEWABLE ENERGY
PILLAR IV: HEALTHY OCEAN AND RESILIENT COASTS
You can find the original news article by the European Commission as well as additional information and the link to the new Atlantic Strategy Plan at https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/press/atlantic-action-plan-20-revamped-maritime-strategy-foster-sustainable-blue-economy-and-eu_en.
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