- Composition of the study group
- Administrator / Assistant in charge: Anna Cameron / Anna Khatchatrian
The Atlantic maritime strategy was adopted in 2011 to support the sustainable development of blue economy in the EU Member States bordering the Atlantic. In 2013, the European Commission put forward an Atlantic action plan to implement the strategy.
To give a new boost to a sustainable maritime economy that can create jobs, the European Commission proposes to update the priorities for regional cooperation, following stakeholders’ consultation. The update is also a fresh contribution to Europe’s recovery from the unprecedented socio-economic crisis triggered by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The communication of the European Commission provides a new approach for an Atlantic maritime strategy with an updated action plan for a sustainable, resilient and competitive blue economy in the EU. This action plan aims to unlock the potential of blue economy in this area while preserving marine ecosystems and contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Blue Economy in the Atlantic Ocean
- generated EUR 73.4 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) and
- employed 1.29 million people in 2017.
It is the largest EU sea basin representing 36% of the EU Blue Economy GVA. Several Blue economy sectors in the Atlantic area are expected to suffer from the current crisis; notably coastal and maritime tourism, which is the largest sector of the Atlantic Blue Economy, generating 27 billion Euros in terms of GVA generated and employing 0.76 million people.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council recently reached a historic agreement on the next long-term budget and NextGenerationEU, the temporary recovery instrument. Once adopted, the package of a total of €1.8 trillion will help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe, which will be greener, more digital, more resilient and better fit for the current and upcoming challenges.
The revised action plan contributes to the recovery efforts in the blue economy focussing on key sectors that combine sustainable transformation with a high job creation potential in Atlantic coastal communities. Indeed, the European Green Deal stresses the central role of blue economy as a critical enabling factor to reach the climate objectives.
This action plan is the result of a long process that started with a mid-term review published in 2018 and continued with bottom-up consultations with stakeholders and the Atlantic Member States. The mid-term review demonstrated that the Atlantic action plan had led to over 1,200 new maritime projects and nearly 6 billion euro in investments, mostly from the EU budget. It also highlighted the need for improvements regarding the thematic focus of the plan, the governance structure and the introduction of a monitoring framework.
The European Commission invites the European Economic and Social Committee to provide an opinion on this initiative.