Key outcomes high-level panel discussion on EU Sea Basin Strategies at EMD 2024

On 30 May 2024, The European Maritime Day in Svendborg Denmark kicked off with a High-Level Panel focused on the EU Sea Basin strategies and  its progress made since the adoption of the EU Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) Communication three years ago.

The panel discussed the role of the Sea Basin Strategies in implementing the SBE policy framework, the challenges faced and areas to be explored for future policy cooperation.

The session was led by Director General Charlina Vitcheva (DG MARE) and contributions were made by representatives from the chairmanships/presidencies of the respective Sea Basins:

  • Eric Banel, General Director for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries, and Aquaculture (Atlantic and Greater North Sea Initiative, France);
  • Marisa Lameiras, Director General for Maritime Policy (WestMED, Portugal);
  • Grigore Stratulat, State Secretary, Ministry for Environment (Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda, Moldova)
  • Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority (Greater North Sea initiative).

Key Highlights and Outcomes of the panel:

  1. The panel showcased the significant role that Sea Basin Strategies play as enablers of the Sustainable Blue Economy approach, as outlined in the 2021 EC Communication. Concrete examples of achievements in sectors such as maritime cluster development, aquaculture, green shipping, blue skills, marine spatial planning, and coastal and maritime tourism were presented. For more information on the work done by the Sea Basin Strategies, check out the recently published video: , which was launched during the event
  2. Discussions emphasized the need for greater synergies and coordination among EU sea basins. Future priorities for the next five years were outlined, highlighting the importance of international cooperation and the need to build bridges between different sea basin strategies. The panel also served as an opportunity to reflect on integrating lessons learned from the other strategies’ implementation into the newly created North Sea Basin Strategy.
  3. Establishment of High-Level Group: A high-level group meeting of the chairs of the Sea Basin Strategies was announced to be held at each EMD, led by DG Charlina Vitcheva. This group will serve as an informal reflection group at the highest level to guide the future direction of the Sea Basin Strategies.

Concrete opportunities for future cooperation and synergies:

  1. Cross-sea basin thematic cooperation across key topics, particularly around the area of blue skills and ocean literacy, which is a priority for all the sea basins involved. Cooperation among existing “technical groups” will continue to be strengthened, focusing on Aquaculture in the WestMED & Black Sea; and on Green Ports/Shipping in WestMED and Atlantic.
  2. Strengthening political cooperation among National Coordinators of the initiatives, inter alia by promoting the participation of representatives of sea basin strategies member countries in each other’s Steering Committee/Group meetings.
  3. Promoting stakeholder cooperation across sea basins in upcoming regional conferences and events, such as the “Assises de l’économie de la mer” to be held on 19-20 November 2024 in Bordeaux (France), or the upcoming WestMED “Hackathon” to take place in Algarve in October.

The results of this discussion served as input for the workshop that was organised the same day : ‘Maximising synergies amongst EU “blue” initiatives’

Watch the full recording of this discussion on WestMED’s YouTube channel

Marisa Lameiras da Silva (WestMED’s Portuguese co-presidency 2024): “Coordination, collaboration and cooperation in each sea basin and between the sea basins need to be a mantra – to follow the same goals”

Marisa Lameiras de Silva at EMD 2024

summary illustration with the main points of the high level panel on sea basin strategies during EMD2024