Maritime Forum

MINUTES OF THE FIRST MEETING OF THE "GROUP OF TEN":

Event date:
04/12/2009 - 11:00 to 14:00
Table of Contents

    A STEERING GROUP FOR AN OVERARCHING PLATFORM OF MARITIME STAKEHOLDER ORGANISATIONS

    VENUE: DG MARE, RUE JOSEPH II, 79, BRUSSELS – ROOM J-79

    Chair: Johan Vande Lanotte

    Attendance list is enclosed

    The Chair presented the objectives of the Group of Ten, being a steering group for an overarching platform of maritime stakeholder organisations, representing five pillars of maritime interests, namely scientific, industrial, ecological, users of the sea and coastal regions. He underlined working principles such as action driven dialogue, plurality of opinions (consensus not being an ultimate goal) and added value of a maritime stakeholder platform acting as a forum complementary to existing ways of dialoguing with European institutions.

    Answering questions on the set up of the Group of Ten, the chair explained that representatives of roof organisations were invited to join, thus mirroring not a sector specific, but all embracing approach (MIF, Network of Clusters, WWF, Seas at Risk, Marcom +, Marine Board, CPMR and Venice Platform). On the top, two organisations representing the users of the sea were invited, because there is no umbrella organisation in this field (Surfrider Foundation and EAA). The reason is that marine leisure should not be forgotten in the debate.

    It was recalled that the mandate of the Steering Group was given at the European Maritime Stakeholder Conference in Rome on 18-20 May 2009 (see: concluding remarks by Commissioner Borg http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/speeches/speech200509a_en.html). The future platform will not take decisions, but influence them, throughout a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary discussion. It will be an interface with the European Commission and the European Parliament.

    The Commission (PN) gave an overview on the next actions in the field of Integrated Maritime Policy and its mandate on new sources of sustainable growth. He mentioned that a Communication on IMP future direction is planned for October 2010 and that an input by the maritime stakeholder platform would be a valuable asset. He underlined that the first meeting of this steering group as well as the setting up of a "Seas and Coasts" intergroup in the European Parliament constitute a significant progress on maritime governance. In the near future there would be value in linking these two developments by helping to make connections between the stakeholder platform and the Intergroup.

    Future planning:

    The future work of the Group of Ten will focus on the following concrete actions:

    • exchange of views with the new Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (March 2010)
    • discussions with the Intergroup "Seas and Coasts" in the European Parliament and its leaders Corinne Lepage (FR/ALDE) and Matthias Groote (DE/S&D)
    • preparations of the European Maritime Day 2010 (Gijón, 19-21 May 2010)

    1. Hearing with the Commissioner on future directions for IMP

    The objective of this meeting to be held in the first week of March 2010 would be to bring forward ideas on future directions for IMP, which could be taken into account in the upcoming Communication on the future of IMP scheduled for autumn 2010. This meeting should be well prepared in terms of discussion input, structure and proper documentation. Following a suggestion by Nico Wijnolst, it was decided that interested stakeholder organisations should prepare written statements (2-3 pages) to be published as a booklet and handed over to the Commissioner. The Network of Maritime Clusters could provide organisational and financial support to make a publication.

    The meeting with Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will not undermine the importance of dialogue with other Commissioners (and in particular those in charge of Transport, Energy, Enterprise, Environment and Research). The meeting will address IMP future directions in general, but not sectoral policies. However, sectoral interests and concerns should be voiced in the written statements. Synergies with other DGs will be promoted: relevant Commission services will be invited to participate in next meetings of the Group of Ten and in the hearing.

    The meeting with the EP intergroup "Coast and Seas" could precede the meeting with the Commissioner (same day, in the morning). Participation should be restricted to the members of the Group of Ten.

    Next steps:

    • provide the Chair with a list of most important representatives within each pillar, where we can expect most meaningful contributions to the hearing (up to 5 per pillar) by Friday, 11 December
    • an invitation to the hearing will be launched by 20 December (invitation through written intervention)
    • submit statements on the future directions on IMP by the end of January.
    • oral contributions, including the choice of speakers and the structure of discussions, will be based on the written input. The Chair will propose a structure.
    • meeting of the Group of Ten to finalise the preparations: early February
    • hearing with the Commissioner , 1 week of March. Accompanying communication activities will be foreseen, for example a press release.

    2. European Maritime Day, Gijón 19-21 May 2010

    The Commission explained that more than 120 proposals have been submitted in view of the Stakeholder Conference in Gijón. There was however space available for the contribution of the maritime stakeholder platform. Members of the Group of Ten were positive about giving input to and arranging a workshop on future orientation of the IMP (envisaged timeslot: Thursday 20 May in the afternoon).

    Cross-cutting approach will be promoted in Gijón. On Day 2 (20 May) there will be a panel with key representatives of industry, environmental concern; regions, science and leisure sector, based on sectoral discussion held the day before. Johan Vande Lanotte will be invited to chair this session.

    3. "Make sustainability a market": common innovative, growth creating and sustainable initiatives

    During the discussion, a necessity of dialogue among maritime stakeholders was highlighted, in addition to joint actions towards European institutions. It was proposed to launch common projects where different actors could take profit, with the objective to promote innovation and green growth of maritime sectors and coastal regions.

    In this context, the Commission explained its planning on the future sources of green growth as a response to the economic crisis. The objective is a communication in 2012 giving guidance with regard to the future sources of growth. In 2010 DG MARE will launch a study on this issue. Against this background, responses and ideas coming from the Group of Ten would be valuable.

    Participants identified the following issues to be further discussed/developed within the Group of Ten/the stakeholder platform: the question of sustainability of the market and available technologies, energy issues/renewables, adaptation to mitigation to climate change, indicators for good environmental status, impact of the lack of policy implementation in certain areas (ex. ballast water), CO2 emission trading, information and awareness raising.

    Next steps:

    short written contributions by members of the Group of Ten about common projects are requested by end of January 2010.