(13 May 2013) – The European Commission has today adopted an Action Plan to revitalise the marine and maritime economy in the Atlantic Ocean Area.
The Action Plan follows from the Atlantic Strategy the Commission adopted in 2011. It aims to show how the EU’s Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the “blue economy”, which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020. At the same time, the environmental and ecological stability of the Atlantic Ocean must be preserved.
The Action Plan considers responses to the challenges of delivering growth, reducing the carbon footprint, sustainable use of the sea’s natural resources, responding effectively to threats and emergencies and implementing an “ecosystem” management approach in Atlantic waters. It contains four overarching priorities:
- Promote entrepreneurship and innovation;
- Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment;
- Improve accessibility and connectivity;
- Create a socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development;
The agreed actions will focus on growing the tourism market, meeting the increasing demand for offshore installations, improving education and training in traditional and emerging maritime industries, as well as extending cooperation in the field of oceanic research in order to better assess climate change impacts.