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Blues Summer School – now accepting applications | 10 selected participants free of charge

The Jean Monnet Module titled “The Blue Economy and Sustainability – the EU and the Mediterranean” (BLUES) supports the running of a summer school on the sustainable blue economy for 3 consecutive summers (2021, 2022 and 2023).

This June, EMUNI will run a dynamic and engaging BLUES summer school, offering a combination of distance learning, supervised research or entrepreneurial work, face-to-face interactive teaching and field trips subject to the conditions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The goal of the summer school, jointly organised with the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS) in Italy, is to support the creation of stable and attractive career pathways and skilled talents that will be needed to support the expansion of marine and maritime sectors by improving professional skills and competences, fostering networks and partnerships, and encouraging the active contribution to positive change for the conservation and sustainable use of the Mediterranean Sea.

The application deadline is 6 April 2021 at 14.00 (CET) and is open to postgraduate students of any discipline related to the Blue Economy with a demonstrated interest in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

10 selected participants will be able to attend in person the summer school free of charge. To apply and find out more, go to: BLUES project – EMUNI

man holding pile of cardboard boxes

The EMFF will move from EASME to CINEA per April 1, 2021

With the implementation of the new long-term EU budget (link removed/ inactive page), some EASME managed programme are moving to the new European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).  From 1 April, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the Life ProgrammeHorizon 2020 Energy Efficiency and partly Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge ‘Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials will by managed by the new Agency.

Read the full article on the EASME website

aquaculture in Tunisia

UNIDO to support the development of sustainable aquaculture in Tunisia under the SwitchMed Blue Economy component

On 10 March, the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) launched a project to apply more resource-efficient and circular production practices in Tunisia’s aquaculture value chain at an online event.

The event consulted with representatives from the Government of Tunisia, the European Union’s Delegation, and 25 companies from Tunisia’s aquaculture industry on the project roadmap.

Scheduled for 2021, the first phase of the project will undertake a value chain analysis of the Tunisian aquafarming industry to identify improvement areas, such as opportunities for the valorization of by-products, the potential of applying eco-innovative SMART technologies and industrial synergies in the aquafarming sector.

Read the full press release on the Switchmed website

Click here for a pdf with more information on the UNIDO Blue Economy project in Tunisia

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Call for participants online training on blue jobs and cross-cutting skills for young professionals and graduates of the Med countries

14-15 April 2021 | Limited places available

Blue Skills required in the future are diverse: soft, technical, digital, social media, environmental, security, entrepreneurial, socio-economic, multi-disciplinary, languages, statistics, law, maritime spatial planning. This programme will be useful for students and young graduates from a wide range of academic backgrounds, and will cover topics relevant for a diversity of sectors and careers:
● Business and incubators
● Smart Specialization Strategies
● Technological innovation for sustainable blue growth
● Talent circulation and Partnership Building
● Best/ Good Practices

Target: Alumni OGS – HOMERe – young professionals and researchers; post-graduates in the field of marine sciences and maritime sectors (blue growth/ blue economy related). The places available are limited. The selection will be on a rolling basis.

Language: Simultaneous interpretation in English, French, and Arabic

Download the pdf with all information

Call for Participants: online registration form (open until 01.04.2021) – https://ufmsecretariat.org/registration-form-ufm-homere-blueskills-workshop/

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MERCES and AFRIMED join forces to restore marine biodiversity

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The year ahead for the WestMED Initiative

A new Technical Group on Aquaculture, a Maritime Clusters cooperation scheme, a webinar with a focus on blue skills and another WestMED Stakeholder Conference. These are some of the main activities foreseen in 2021. So, stay tuned!

During the last WestMED Steering Committee meeting, on December 16, 2020, its members outlined a roadmap of activities and initiatives to be carried out in the year to come. 2021 has just started and a number of exciting developments in the framework of the WestMED initiative are already taking shape and will be launched soon.

Two new cooperation frameworks will be initiated. They are based on the successful Technical Group on Sustainable Transport – Green Shipping with key stakeholders, that kicked-off last year. They already convened four times to discuss key developments and will continue their activities in 2021.

The new frameworks will focus on two policy areas which are pivotal for the sustainable development of the Blue Economy in the western Mediterranean. One focused on Aquaculture and one on Maritime Clusters cooperation with the aim of further strengthening ties between Northern and Southern countries within the western Mediterranean.

These initiatives directly build on the insights gained during the stakeholder webinars that the WestMED Assistance Mechanism organised in December 2020, namely the webinar on Sustainable Aquaculture and the virtual stakeholder meeting on Maritime Clusters.

Given the impact and wide range of opportunities generated by these events, a new WestMED webinar will be organised focusing on Blue Skills will be held this spring.

Moreover, another large-scale Stakeholder Conference will be hosted in 2021 – either virtual, hybrid or in-person, depending on the covid-19 developments.

More details concerning all these activities will be coming up soon, so stay tuned through our website and/or Twitter!

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Our WestMED website address will change… slightly

The WestMED initiative’s website is currently undergoing a migration process to the Europa.ec domain. This means that the website will receive a new domain-name as off early March 2021.

As a result of this process, the website will be designed in a way so that it is compliant with accessibility standards of the European Commission. This means that every person, regardless of their diverse abilities, will be able to perceive, understand and interact with the new site.

On top of that, there will be a gradual change in the website’s look and feel in order to enhance user experience. In this regard, a new section on funding opportunities will be added, including a filter search functionality allowing to explore calls for proposals by country and topic, among other criteria.

We will inform you about these upgrades as soon as they’re in place. So, stay tuned!

poster showing report covers

Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood – A new agenda for the Mediterranean

Press release: EEAS (European Union External Action Service) | 9-2-2021

Twenty-five years ago the European Union and the Southern Mediterranean partners committed to turning the Mediterranean basin into an area of dialogue, exchange and cooperation, guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity.

The 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration reminds us that a strengthened Mediterranean partnership remains a strategic imperative for the European Union, as the challenges the region continues to face require a common response, especially ten years after the Arab Spring. By acting together, recognising our growing interdependence, and in a spirit of partnership, we will turn common challenges into opportunities, in our mutual interest.

sandy beach with water

European Commission and European Investment Fund launch €75 million BlueInvest Fund

The European Commission is partnering with the European Investment Fund, part of the European Investment Bank Group (EIB), to launch the BlueInvest Fund today. During the BlueInvest Day conference in Brussels, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, launched a €75 million equity investment fund for the blue economy.

The BlueInvest Fund will be managed by the European Investment Fund and will provide financing to underlying equity funds that strategically target and support the innovative blue economy. This sector can play an important role in the transformation to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, an ambition announced in the European Green Deal. The new programme is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

 

Read more about the BueInvest Fund 

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Ministerial Declaration recognises the WestMED Initiative for the development of the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean

On February 2, 2021, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) held its Second Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy aimed at improving maritime governance and at intensifying joint efforts to foster the sustainable blue economy development in the Mediterranean.

The Conference also intended to address the growing environmental and climate-related challenges that the Mediterranean region is facing, and tackle the unprecedented socio-economic crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has generated.

In the framework of this Conference, Ministers from the 42 UfM States have adopted a new Declaration on Blue Economy, where they recognise the WestMED initiative as a successful example of cooperation and a catalyst for the development of sustainable blue economy.

Hence, the WestMED initiative has been recognised as a key tool for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Mediterranean, “focused on clear goals, priorities and measurable targets”.

The WestMED initiative will continue contributing to the main objective of the Declaration, which is to make more resilient and sustainable blue sectors such as tourism, fisheries and aquaculture while promoting sustainable investments in areas such as green shipping to meet the evolving needs and challenges of the blue economy sectors.

 

Second Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy: https://ufmsecretariat.org/ufm-ministerial-conference-blue-economy/

Ministerial Declaration on Blue Economy: https://ufmsecretariat.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Declaration-UfM-Blue-Economy-EN.pdf