New EU approach to blue economy aims to promote conservation and sustainable use of marine resources
On 17 May, the European Commission published a communication on promoting a sustainable blue economy in the EU. The Communication sets out a detailed agenda for the blue economy. A sustainable blue economy is a fundamental part of the broader European Green Deal, which is indispensable for the future of Europe. Sustainable blue economy is not possible without clean and healthy oceans and seas.
The main sectors of the blue economy are maritime industry, maritime transport, port activities, fishing, aquaculture and coastal tourism. According to the EU Blue Economy Report 2020, these established sectors account for 4.5 million direct jobs in the EU and generate more than EUR 650 billion in turnover.
In Finland, the maritime cluster alone – which consists of maritime industry, shipping and ports – had a turnover of nearly EUR 15 billion and employed almost 50,000 people as of 2019. A sustainable blue economy, with its basic principles of climate neutrality and zero pollution, presents significant economic opportunities for Finland, while also supporting Finland’s objectives of improving the state of the Baltic Sea and the world’s seas.
The main sections of the agenda are: Climate neutrality and zero pollution, circular economy and reduction of pollution, biodiversity and investing in nature, coastal resilience and adaptation to climate change, responsible food systems and better management of maritime areas.
Funding for a sustainable blue economy is a key tool for implementing the agenda. With this in mind, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund will increase their cooperation in the field of sustainable blue economy, and the approach will also receive support from the new European Maritime, Aquaculture and Fisheries Fund and via the Commission’s BlueInvest platform. The transition to a sustainable blue economy will also be supported by other EU programmes, such as Horizon Europe.
In general, the blue economy refers to sea-based livelihoods and is also known as the maritime economy.
Inquiries: Jussi Soramäki, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 160 330, [email protected], Prime Minister’s Office and Emma Borg, Project Coordinator, tel. +358 295 160 310, [email protected], Prime Minister’s Office