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Tuesday, 09 October 2012

New Maritime Agenda for growth and jobs

A European agenda for creating growth and jobs in the marine and maritime sectors was adopted on 8 October 2012 by European Ministers for maritime policy and the European Commission, represented by President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Maria Damanaki at a conference in Limassol. Five years after the launch of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the Member States and the Commission reaffirmed that a dynamic and coordinated approach to maritime affairs would enhance the development of the EU's 'Blue Economy' while ensuring the health of seas and oceans.
The declaration proposes a marine and maritime agenda to back the Europe 2020 strategy. As highlighted in the Commission's recent Blue Growth initiative on opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth (IP/12/955), the agenda focuses on promising maritime sectors where there is a great potential for new jobs and growth. These sectors are: marine renewable energy, aquaculture, blue biotechnology, coastal tourism and sea bed mining.
The blue economy is important for Europe. Its gross value added is estimated at around €500 billion, which is expected to increase to approximately €600 billion in 2020. Over the same period, people employed in the blue economy are expected to increase from 5.4 million to 7 million. Added to this is the fact that 75 percent of Europe's external trade and 37 percent of intra-European trade is seaborne. Europe's oceans, seas and coasts are, and will continue to be, Europe's economic lifeline.
The European Commission has built a comprehensive picture of the economic size and employment of marine and maritime sectors in Europe, and has also looked at where these sectors could realistically be heading in the coming years and where there is a particular potential for innovation and new jobs.
Following the adoption of the Limassol Declaration, a set of Commission initiatives will be launched in the near future to explore and develop the growth potential in the identified areas, including Communications on coastal and maritime tourism, ocean energy, blue biotechnology and marine mineral mining, as well as strategic guidelines on aquaculture. All initiatives will be undertaken in consultation with Member states and relevant stakeholders. 

Source: European Commission