The European Commission endorses sustainable investment in the ocean, and has met to discuss the future of the blue economy in Europe.
The Commission for Natural Resources of the European Committee of the Regions recently met in Gozo to discuss the European agenda for the blue economy and other maritime and sustainability issues.
The European Commission’s approach
In 2018, the European Commission launched its Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.
Commenting on the European Commission’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) Executive Director, Erik Solheim, said: “This collaborative initiative to finance a sustainable blue economy is not only timely and complementary – it is absolutely urgent and necessary.”
The blue economy in Gozo conference
Dr Samuel Azzopardi is the Mayor of Victoria, President of the Gozo Region, Malta, COR member and President of the Gozo FA. Azzopardi commented: “The blue economy is the way forward to reconcile the use of maritime resources with economic growth and jobs for our communities. We support the CoR’s vision to place the blue economy as an integral part, rather than peripheral, of the EU’s economic policy. Sustainable growth is at the heart of Gozo’s political priorities. The island is already a clean energy net contributor to the Maltese grid and we are well on track to become an eco-island by 2020.”
According to the Times of Malta:
- Malta is among the top five EU member states in which the blue economy most contributes to its GDP;
- The Maltese blue economy contributes to 4.7 percent of GDP;
- The sector employs around 10,400 people in Malta; and
- During the conference members adopted various draft opinions, including ‘Cross-border dimension in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)’, ‘A new European agenda to speed up the development of maritime industries’ and ‘Towards a comprehensive European Union framework on endocrine disruptors’.