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Brussels, 26 June 2013
Blue Growth strategy to create growth and jobs in the marine and maritime sectors gets further backing
The European Commission welcomes the backing from the EU's General Affairs Council for the progress made in delivering the EU's Blue Growth Strategy. This Strategy aims at creating sustainable economic growth and employment in the marine and maritime economy to help Europe's economic recovery.
The Council conclusions stress the importance of the Action Plan for the Atlantic Maritime Strategy to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Blue Economy of coastal Atlantic regions. The Conclusions also welcome the progress made in the EU maritime policies, such as the agreement on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the adoption of Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture or the adoption of the LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy which gives new impetus to innovation and diversification of the shipbuilding industry.
The Council also recognises that developing the maritime economy requires financial support and encourages Member States to support innovation, growth and employment in Europe's maritime activities through the European Structural and Investments Funds in the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.
Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said: “Today's endorsement of the Council shows that delivering the potential of the Blue Economy in terms of growth, jobs and competitiveness is a European commitment. Blue growth is a long term political strategy and the support for its first steps is very encouraging".
Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. It recognises that seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy with great potential for innovation and growth. It is the Integrated Maritime Policy's contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The 'blue' economy represents 5.4 million jobs and a gross added value of just under €500 billion a year. However, further growth is possible in a number of areas which are highlighted within the Strategy. For instance there is potential for promoting coastal and cruise tourism and making our coastal resorts accessible and attractive to tourists from across the world all year round.
The strategy also highlights opportunities for growth in other areas such as developing offshore renewable energy technologies, promoting a growing aquaculture sector or supporting research into the blue biotechnology sector which could become a producer of mass market marine aquatic products.
The Strategy was unanimously endorsed in October 2012 by European Ministers for Maritime Affairs through the Limassol Declaration on a "Marine and Maritime Agenda" for growth and jobs.
More information on Blue Growth