On Track

Lowri Evans, director general at the EU commission’s maritime and fisheries directorate has underlined the achievements of the EU’s ‘integrated maritime policy’ (IMP) and stated that the next decade will be “crucial” in developing Europe’s maritime policy.

EU official says maritime policy is on ‘right track’
By Martin Banks, The Parliament

A top commission official says the next decade will be “crucial” in developing Europe’s maritime policy.

Speaking in Brussels, Lowri Evans, director general at the commission’s maritime and fisheries directorate, underlined the achievements of the EU’s ‘integrated maritime policy’ (IMP).

She told a debate on maritime policy that this should be “consolidated” in order to contribute towards “blue growth”.

Evans said, “The commission has a clear agenda until 2020: blue growth. The coming decade will be crucial in maintaining and developing Europe’s maritime competitive edge and spark off new jobs.

“Cross-committee involvement of the European parliament will be crucial to support our agenda for research, innovation, security at sea and stable planning.”

She also said the commission will be organising an inter-ministerial conference devoted to maritime issues next October in Cyprus.

The IMP was the focus of discussion at the seminar which was partly organised with the support of the Rennes-based Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).

Speaking on maritime issues on behalf of the Cypriot presidency of the EU, George Christofi, a counsellor at the permanent representation of Cyprus to the EU, underlined the importance of what he called an “ambitious budget for maritime policy”.

He said this was important because “the integrated maritime policy is one of the most powerful tools to achieve the objective of the EU 2020”.

He also called “for an involvement of local communities and social society in the development of maritime activities”.

Henrik Ringbæk Madsen, chairman of international affairs of the Danish region of Nordjylland and a member of the CPMR, said, “This conference must be taken as a great opportunity.”

“Europe cannot afford to be shy in strengthening its maritime agenda and in joining up all the policies that are contributing to it.”

He said the €432m over seven years proposed by the commission for the part of the European fisheries and maritime fund (EMFF) that should support the IMP should be regarded as a “minimum” to develop the initiatives proposed by the executive.

“Those initiatives are essential for all maritime territories and also in order to consolidate a European strategic approach in the maritime field.

“This amount should therefore be maintained and negotiated independently from the budget dedicated to fisheries through the EMFF.”

Further comment came from Polish EPP member Jan Kozlowski who underlined “the great potential of maritime industry for coastal regions and for Europe as a whole”.

German ALDE deputy Gesine Meißner said that “we should use the potential of the sea in a sustainable way and save this resource for the future”.

Source: The Parliament

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