????????The Seas, Islands, Rivers and Coastal Areas Intergroup of the European Parliament met on the initiative of its Vice-President, Ulrika Rodust, on 13 January to explore ways of developing the blue economy in the Baltic.

MEPs Gesine Meissner, President of the Intergroup, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Vice-President and Sirpa Pietikäinen, contributed to the work, while the European Commission was represented by Bernhard Friess, Director at DG MARE in charge of the Baltic Region.

According to Mr Friess, the value chains of the maritime economy go way beyond maritime Regions alone and concern the whole of the EU. He also underlined the importance of the calls for projects that DG MARE will be launching next March designed to meet the challenges of the blue economy in the different sea basins of the EU. These will mainly concern calls under “Blue Careers” and the “Master Plan for Blue Technology”.

During the discussions, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) was represented by Dr. Steffen Lüsse from the German Land Schleswig-Holstein, and Tiina Perho from Southwest Finland, who was also representing the CPMR’s Baltic Sea Commission. They both stressed the key role that Regions play in developing maritime activities, notably through their use of EU funds.

“The CPMR and the Baltic Sea Commission are, amongst other things, for their own part also aiming to enhance the investments in the Blue Economy,” said Tiina Perho.

Ahead of the conference, the Maritime Working Group of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission also met in order to draw up roadmaps for the key sectors of blue growth.