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Brussels, 23 October 2008.

BioMarine: spotlight on the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy

The European Commission welcomes BioMarine, an international maritime forum on oceans sustainability an innovative solutions, organised under the aegis of the French Presidency of the European Union, which gathers business, scientific and political communities. This is a major event which will enable Europe's maritime community to reinforce the development of an integrated approach to maritime affairs. Joe Borg, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will review the progress achieved in the field of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy during the closing plenary on 24 October, in Marseille.

At the launching of the event, early this week, President Barroso commented: "When I took the initiative to develop this new European policy, the aim was to move away from the narrow sector-based approach applied to maritime matters. Today, we can state that a new broad and comprehensive governance of maritime affairs is clearly underway in Europe. I wish to applaud France for the important role which it has played in this process and for having the insight to uphold the new oceans and seas' integrated approach well before assuming the presidency of the European Union."

Commissioner Borg said: "BioMarine provides an excellent opportunity for the European Commission to engage in an open exchange of ideas with Europe's maritime stakeholders. Its agenda demonstrates the potential of Europe's oceans and seas and invites for cross-sectoral cooperation among policies and with the people concerned by them. This bodes well for the European Union's Integrated Maritime Policy."

In his speech, Commissioner Borg will focus on research, innovation and maritime governance, the key issue for integrated policy-making. Also of high relevance in this context is the work carried out by the Commission, in close cooperation with the Presidency, on moving towards a more integrated maritime surveillance system in the EU and in particular in the Mediterranean Sea. Wide-ranging and continuous dialogue and cooperation with stakeholders is another important element in moving the Integrated Maritime Policy forward. Furthermore, later this year the Commission intends, inter alia, to present its proposal for a road map on maritime spatial planning, which will be an essential tool for maritime integrated governance.

The EU's Integrated Maritime Policy

The EU's Integrated Maritime Policy draws on a cross-cutting approach to maritime governance and a concrete set of actions to establish greater coherence between different sectoral policies at the European level. One of its overall aims is to keep European maritime industries at the cutting edge of technology and innovation, while preserving the resource they rely on the seas. Recently adopted Commission initiatives – such as the Marine and Maritime Research Strategy and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive – and a first policy paper on the challenges and possibilities for improving the integration of maritime surveillance systems in Europe respond to these challenges. All these issues are being addressed at BioMarine, which highlights innovative solutions and approaches to sea-related activities.

BioMarine forum

BioMarine aims to trigger and facilitate dialogue and networking between stakeholders in order to better address the sustainable development of all sea-related activities. During its forty sessions a variety of marine and maritime-related issues are being discussed by renowned experts from all around the world, with diverse backgrounds including scientists, policy-makers, representatives from maritime industries and civil society.

The BioMarine got under way on 20 October in Toulon and is continuing in Marseille from 22 to 24 October.

More information:

BioMarine Forum:

EU Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU:

President Barroso's speech for BioMarime:

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