DG MARE briefly recalled the rapid COVID-19 response packages the EU has activated for the EU Member States and the Third countries, emphasizing that the crisis can also be an opportunity to rethink sustainable and resilient blue economy business models and stressing the importance to start working on the investments and funds alignment aspect of the Common Maritime Agenda (CMA) to ensure projects financing.
The countries-members of the Common Maritime Agenda confirmed that 3 sectors of blue economy, namely coastal and maritime tourism, maritime transport and fisheries and aquaculture have been heavily hit by the pandemic.
World Bank presented the programme ‘Blueing the Black Sea’ and its two components tackling environmental aspects and investments that will support the implementation of some of the Common Maritime Agenda priorities.
All participants recognized the added value of the regional framework the CMA provides and agreed on the need to reinforce further regional cooperation also with the other regional initiatives, primarily with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for blue economy in the Black Sea (SRIA) which will hold its 1st meeting of the Senior Officials Working Group in mid-July.
Key conclusions highlighted that CMA recovery response could potentially cover coastal and maritime tourism, maritime transport and shipbuilding, fisheries, aquaculture and digitalization and that it is fundamental to enhance further regional cooperation while working on investments and funds alignment aspects.
The Black Sea Virtual Knowledge Centre and the assistance mechanism will be activated in September, supporting the implementation of the Common Maritime Agenda. Both instruments are financed by EMFF.
Next CMA Steering group meeting will take place in September.