The European Commission’s Report on the Blue Growth Strategy: Towards more sustainable growth and jobs in the blue economy was published on 31 March.

© michel BORDIEU –

It says that the blue economy can be a driver for Europe’s welfare and prosperity, and reflects on the initiatives launched since 2012 in many policy areas related to Europe’s oceans, seas and coasts.

It points out that these initiatives facilitate the cooperation between maritime business and public authorities across borders and sectors, and stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the marine environment.

The report highlights figures about maritime investments supported by the European Union, including through the EU’s Cohesion policy. For the 2014-2020 period, more than 5.5 billion euros has been allocated to blue economy from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) budget.

The European Social Fund (ESF) operational programmes for coastal regions are also supporting important investments.

As of January 2017, a total of 15 projects, representing around 8.5% of the total number of projects, have been identified as focusing on the blue economy.

The total amount needed from EFSI to finance these maritime projects can be estimated, based on available data, at 3 billion euros. This is expected to trigger nearly 13 billion euros in investment.

The report also looks at the future, and focuses on areas that were not part of the five priority areas of the Blue Growth strategy launched in 2012.