A European agenda for creating growth and jobs in the marine and maritime sectors was adopted on 8 October 2012 by European Ministers for maritime policy and the European Commission, represented by President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Maria Damanaki at a conference in Limassol organised by the Cypriot Presidency. Five years after the launch of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the Member States and the Commission reaffirmed that a dynamic and coordinated approach to maritime affairs enhances the development of the EU's 'Blue Economy' while ensuring the health of seas and oceans.
The declaration proposes a marine and maritime agenda to back the Europe 2020 strategy. As highlighted in the Commission's recent Blue Growth initiative on opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth (IP/12/955), the agenda focuses on promising maritime sectors where there is a great potential for new jobs and growth. These sectors are: marine renewable energy, aquaculture, blue biotechnology, coastal tourism and sea bed mining.
Ministers also called on Member States and European Institutions to put in place the right conditions for the Blue Economy to deliver: support for research and marine knowledge, maritime training, cost-efficient cooperation on maritime surveillance, improved planning of maritime space and the further implementation of the Marine strategy Framework directive.
Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, stated: "seas and oceans can play a decisive role in Europe's economic recovery. Today's Declaration sends the clear message that we need to embrace the potential of Europe's Blue Economy".
Commissioner Maria Damanaki, responsible for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, stressed that "to make a reality of the growth trends and opportunities in the maritime economy, we need the input of all – institutions, Member States and regions, industry, SMEs and civil society. Being able to work together to get the best results is a sign of maturity; and maritime policy is the ideal vehicle to boost the Blue Economy in Europe."