Maritime_PhotoThe launch of a networking platform on maritime investments linked to smart specialisation strategies and European funds for maritime Regions and socio-economic stakeholders was discussed during the CPMR Political Bureau meeting, held in Nantes on 27 February 2015.

In addition to discussing precise details that allow for an analysis of the maritime sector’s importance within smart specialisation strategies and operational ESI Fund programmes, the objective of the platform is also to identify investments that lie within the framework of the Juncker investments, or to be a source of proposals on European programmes and policies, such as Horizon 2020.

This initiative will at first be rooted in the activities of the CPMR (including Geographical Commissions), which is the top maritime organisation of regions. Key issues that CPMR is addressing can be proposed as work areas for the platform either at a pan-European level or within the individual sea basins (e.g. marine environment, fisheries and aquaculture, maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management, coastal data, maritime industries (including marine-based renewable energies), maritime security, blue biotechnologies, marine mineral resources and coastal and maritime tourism). The maritime basin dimension will be integrated into the project via the CPMR’s Geographical Commissions. On this issue, a natural link will be established with existing sea-basin or macro-regional strategies and with similar strategies currently in the development stage.

Beyond regions, the objective is to work with European institutions (several Directorates of the EC, European Parliament, notably through the Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas, Member States and different interested maritime organisations).