Service Commission renews cooperation for sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean


Economy - published on 17 July 2017


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Source: European Commission Spokesperson’s

19/04/2017

Today, the European Commission launches a new initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean region that will increase maritime safety and security,
promote sustainable blue growth and jobs, and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity. Karmenu Vella,Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “Millions
of holiday makers have a happy association with the Western Mediterranean. Like the millions more who live across the region, they understand the fragile link between conserving national habitats
and traditions and ensuring economic viability. Blue economy is important for each of the countries involved and they have recognised the strength of working together.” The initiative is an
example of EU’s successful neighbourhood policy as five EU Member States (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta) and five Southern partner countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and
Tunisia) will work jointly on their shared interests in the region. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: ”This
new regional initiative recognises and taps into the economic potential of the Mediterranean Sea and its coast lines to further enhance economic growth, contribute to job creation and eventually
the stabilisation of the region. It is an important step towards closer coordination and cooperation among participating countries.” The enhanced cooperation is particularly timely as just
three weeks ago the Commission secured a 10-year pledge to save Mediterranean fish stocks in the Ministerial MedFish4Ever Declaration. Among others, the initiative’s targeted actions include cooperation between coast guards, response to
accidents and oil spills, habitat conservation, biotechnology, data sharing, marine knowledge and coastal tourism. For more information on the priorities and specific actions of the initiative a
full press release and MEMO are online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Iris Petsa – Tel.: + 32 229
93321)

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