Water is a vital but an increasingly scarce resource. As the global population grows, so does the demand for water. The problem is global, but also concerns our continent: in summer 2022 Europe saw the most severe droughts in 500 years. Almost two thirds of European citizens consider water quality and/or quantity in their country to be a serious problem. Climate change will further affect the availability, quality and quantity of water. Without action, water scarcity and poverty could concern ever larger parts of civil societies around the world, with far-reaching implications for food security, the environment, human health as well as economic, social, and political stability.
With this debate, the ECO section is providing ex-ante input to the European Commission, in preparation for the upcoming 2023 strategic foresight cycle that wants to shed light on the strategic decisions needed to ensure a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming decades.
The European maritime technology industry is an important sector in terms of employment, directly providing more than 500 000 jobs. Shipyards and firms manufacturing marine equipment make a significant contribution to the economic development of the regions where they are located, and across the entire supply chain, which is particularly important to SMEs. Each direct job in a European shipyard means, on average, seven jobs created in the region.