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Council of the EU stresses the importance of common and sustainable maritime policy

Prime Minister's Office
Publication date 2.12.2019 8.08 | Published in English on 2.12.2019 at 14.04
News item 636/2019

The General Affairs Council adopted Council conclusions on oceans and seas on 19 November. The conclusions, prepared by Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, set out the maritime policy priorities for the EU. In its conclusions, the Council underlines the importance of mitigating climate change, fostering a sustainable blue economy, protecting the biodiversity of marine and coastal ecosystems and improving international ocean governance.

Maritime policy is a wide-ranging issue, discussed in a number of Council configurations. In its conclusions, the Council addresses many topical themes in the marine environment and stresses clearly that climate change is a direct and existential threat to life in oceans and seas globally. It calls for increased political action at all levels of government to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. The conclusions also underline the importance of promoting a sustainable blue economy and recognise the special attention needed for the Arctic region.

In its conclusions, the Council expresses its deep concern for the Arctic region and highlights the need to protect the outermost regions and overseas countries and territories. The Council recognises a growing geopolitical interest in the Arctic and proposes updating the 2016 Joint Communication on an integrated EU policy for the Arctic

The EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy aims to foster coordinated and coherent approach to maritime affairs and to increase coordination across different policy sectors. The policy plays a key role in building a sustainable future for Europe, and Finland strives to actively promote the sustainable use of oceans and seas in the EU and in other international forums.

Inquiries: Jussi Soramäki, Ministerial Adviser, +358 40 754 1898, Nina Brander, Senior Specialist, +358 40 823 8492 and Heikki Kontro, Project Coordinator, +358 50 412 1142, Prime Minister’s Office