In September 2012, the European Commission put forward a blue growth strategy for the EU. Elaborated in the context of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy, the initiative focuses upon the potential of the EU’s marine and maritime sectors to contribute to sustainable economic recovery in Europe, and in particular to create new jobs and foster innovation.
The strategy calls for coordinated efforts from national and regional authorities, business and civil society on horizontal issues in the areas concerned, such as financing, access to research, and promotion of education and training.
Five sectors are highlighted as potential drivers of blue growth, namely aquaculture, marine renewable energy, marine mineral mining, marine biotechnology, and marine and coastal tourism. Each of these sectors is to be the subject of further separate initiatives from the Commission in 2013-2014.
In developing integrated support measures, customised regional or local approaches will be essential for each of the EU’s various sea-basins, given their different characteristics.
Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism is currently drawing up an initiative report on blue growth.