The European Parliament adopted the report by João Ferreira on “Untapping the potential of research and innovation in the blue economy to create jobs and growth” in its plenary sitting on 7 September in Strasbourg. This own initiative report is a response to the European Commission’s Communication on “Innovation in the Blue Economy: realising the potential of our seas and oceans for jobs and growth” published in May 2014.
The CPMR welcomes the fact that the European Parliament is continuing to show a firm commitment to maritime issues. It also applauds the work of the rapporteur and members of the Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas, which has helped to highlight some of the priorities championed by CPMR’s Regions, such as:
- Establishing a definition of the blue economy encompassing all the sectoral and intersectoral activities relating to the oceans, seas and coastal areas,
- The need to adopt an Erika IV package providing for the recognition of maritime ecological damage in EU legislation,
- Guaranteed funding that is foreseeable over the long term for marine and maritime research,
- Developing strategic planning for the various sectors of the maritime economy, taking into account coastal industries related to the development of offshore sectors, which are a feature of existing land-sea interactions in all areas of marine activity,
- Including an ambitious social dimension in the blue growth approach, including by building up maritime skills in order to promote training and access to maritime professions for young people,
- The strategic importance of shipbuilding and repair and their links with several other sectors, while stressing the huge potential of marine renewable energy as an industrial sector of the future,
- Full recognition of the fundamental role of coastal, maritime and island Regions in discussions related to the blue economy,
- The potential for growth and innovation in the fishing and aquaculture sectors.
The CPMR will continue working in this direction with MEPs and members of the Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup.