Brussels, 30 September 2010
Renewed support for the Integrated Maritime Policy
Today the European Commission put forward its proposal for continued financial support to the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy, established in 2007, for the period between 2011 and 2013. The proposal is designed to enable the Commission, Member States and maritime stakeholders to keep up the good work in favour of a sustainable use of oceans, seas and coasts. The Integrated Maritime Policy advocates an integrated approach to the management and governance of the oceans, seas and coasts, and fosters interaction between all sea-related policies in the EU. The purpose of the proposed funding, € 50 million, is to continue the work undertaken since 2007 namely to remove policy barriers, allow savings on both the EU and national budgets and unleash synergies by bridging between all policies with an impact on the sea, such as transport, fisheries, customs and marine environment protection.
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki said: "The Integrated Maritime Policy has changed the way we look at our seas and oceans. This budding policy has already started to deliver in a considerable number of ways; but it needs uninterrupted financial underpinning to be effective and operational during the remaining years of the current Financial Perspective (2011 to 2013)."
Over the past two years, a number of projects and initiatives have set out the foundations for the Integrated Maritime Policy. For instance, three sea basins were scrutinised in an effort to harvest possible synergies across different sectors: the Arctic1, the Mediterranean2 and the Baltic Sea – the latter in the context of the Baltic Sea Strategy3. The Commission has also launched Maritime Knowledge 20204, a broad initiative to gain a better understanding of the status of our seas. Integration work also advanced on maritime surveillance, where all the available systems are being grouped into a seamless whole so as to help national authorities in preventing illegal activities, safeguarding the marine environment, and making maritime transport efficient, safe and secure5. To organise marine space, guidelines have been developed to promote the sustainable use of the space, to foster cross-border investments and to help the EU obtain a good environmental status of our waters by 20206.
All these initiatives were financed through preparatory actions and pilot projects which, by their very nature, had a time limit of two or three consecutive years7.
The proposal for a Regulation adopted today foresees a programme that will provide a stable framework to keep supporting them in a seamless fashion. It will add value to the measures already taken by Member States at national or sub national level. The Programme will also create synergies between other EU financial instruments, thus leading to a more coherent use of the funds affecting the seas and coasts.
The programme identifies six main areas of work.
The Regulation will now go to the Council and the European Parliament to be discussed under the new co-decision procedure established by the Lisbon Treaty.
For more information, see http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/
Communication on the "European Union and the Arctic Region" - COM(2008) 763 of 20.11.08.
Communication "Towards an Integrated Maritime Policy for better governance in the Mediterranean" – COM(2009) 466 of 11.09.2009
Communication "The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region" – COM(2009) 248 of 10.6.2009
Communication "Marine Knowledge 2020: A better understanding of our seas and oceans to boost competitiveness and growth" - COM(2010)461 OD 8.9.2010
Communication "Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain"- COM (2009) 538 final of 15.10.2009 and Communication "Towards establishing the Common Information Sharing Environment for the surveillance of the EU maritime domain" to be adopted later in October 2010.
Communication "Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning: Achieving Common Principles in the EU"- COM(2008) 791 of 25.11.2008.
Article 49 (6) (a) and (b) of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the EU, and Article 32 of its Implementing Rules.