The EU4Ocean platform was officially launched on 24th and 25th September. As founding member, EBI was invited to join the launch webinar as of one the panellists alongside the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, stakeholders and other founding members. EBI presented the recreational boating industry and the role of boating and boat shows in getting people interested in the ocean. The overlap between ocean literacy and blue careers was also presented with the BlueGeneration project as a prime example.
The EU4Ocean Platform is one of the three key components of the EU4Ocean coalition alongside the Youth4Ocean Forum and Network of European Blue Schools. The EU4Ocean Platform will be a focal point for organizations and initiatives to connect, collaborate and mobilize efforts on ocean literacy.
EBI members and the wider industry are invited to join the EU4Ocean coalition and join the discussion ocean literacy. More information can be found here.
Regardless of the outcomes of the negotiations between the EU and UK on a new partnership agreement, businesses will be impacted by the departure of the UK from January 2021. The European Commission has published a general checklist on the changes that can be found here.
The checklist is also available in all other official EU languages alongside detailed information and sector-specific notices here.
The European Commission adopted a proposal for increased EU coordination and better communication of travel restrictions measures taken by Member States in the context of COVID-19. The Commission’s proposal sets out four areas where Member States should work together: 1) Common criteria, 2) Common colour codes, 3) Common approach for travellers from high-risk areas and 4) Clear and timely information.
The proposal and overall coordination are being discussed by the German Council Presidency and the European Commission with EU Member States. For more information, please click here.
The Commission presented the next steps for the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which will provide funds to EU countries. This will provide a total of €672.5 billion of loans and grants to support investment and reforms across EU countries. Grants worth a total of €312.5 billion will be provided, while the remaining €360 billion will be provided in loans. The Facility is the key recovery instrument at the heart of the Recovery Fund that is aimed at supporting the EU to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
National recovery plans will have to be aligned with the green and digital transitions. Moreover, the reforms and investments will have to respect the ‘do no harm’ principle, and use the EU Taxonomy Regulation. EU countries are requested to include in their plans the following areas:
The Commission has called on the European Parliament and Council of the EU to agree as soon as possible on the legislative proposal to make the funding operational from January 2021. Once approved, Member States will have time until end-April 2021 to submit their draft plans. The announcement also includes a break-down by country on the grant allocation (see here).
For more information, please click here.
The European Commission presented its plans to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). The aim is to increase the ambition and set the pathway for the EU to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
The announcement includes an amendment to the proposed European Climate Law, to include the 2030 emissions reduction target. As next step, the European Parliament and Council of the EU are invited to confirm this 55% target under the Paris Agreement. The European Commission also announced the legislative proposals that will be presented by June 2021. These will be reviewed and proposals issued. For more information, please click here.
The European Commission has issued practical guidance to help companies prepare for the changes from 1 January 2021 after the end of the transition period. This mainly relates to the changes that will certainly take place, regardless of the future trade relationship. The guidance is important for companies in the recreational boating sector with business relationships to the UK. The guidance includes
All stakeholder notices can be found here. EBI encourages companies to closely follow the recommendations and prepare for the end of the transition periods. Questions for clarifications can be sent to the EBI Office.
According to the Commission’s latest economic forecast, published in early July, the EU economy will experience a deep recession in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. This forecast updates the spring forecast published in early May. As lockdown are being lifted more gradually than originally anticipated, the impact on economic activity in 2020 will be more significant than projected in the earlier forecast. The return to growth in 2021 will also be less strong than projected in the spring.
Below are the key figures from the summer economic forecast
The full forecast and reports can be found here.
Funded by the European Commission, five nautical routes were developed that can now be accessed and promoted to boaters. They focus on nautical and maritime activities, ecotourism, waters sports or sailing with the aim to foster blue growth, help creating new jobs and promote sustainability in their respective regions.
The nautical routes aim to attract tourists to new areas with different themes. The five routes are:
More information on all nautical routes, can be found here.
In its hydrogen strategy, the European Commission presents an ambitious push for hydrogen as an energy source. This includes the following targets
From 2030 to 2050, renewable hydrogen technologies should reach maturity and be deployed at large scale across all hard-to-decarbonise sectors. In the maritime area, the strategy has identified the potential of hydrogen in maritime transport. For the Commission, hydrogen can eventually be used for inland waterways and short-sea shipping as an alternative low emission fuel. For longer-distance shipping, fuel cell power can be scaled up from one to multiple megawatts, as well as use renewable hydrogen for the production of synthetic fuels, methanol or ammonia.
The Commission also launched the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance with industry leaders, civil society, national and regional ministers and the European Investment Bank. The Alliance will build up an investment pipeline for scaled-up production and support demand for clean hydrogen in the EU. Interested companies and organisations can join the Alliance. More information can be found here.
The full Hydrogen Strategy can be found here.
The European Commission has adopted an updated action plan for the blue economy in the EU Atlantic area, covering France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. The revamped action gives new impetus to the Atlantic maritime strategy and strengthen the participating countries’ recovery efforts. Among the priorities are blue skills, ocean literacy, marine renewable energy, as well as healthy and resilient oceans. One of the actions is the promotion of sustainable practices in coastal and maritime tourism.
The main sources of funding will be European Structural and Investment Funds, including the future cooperation programme in the Atlantic area and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The full action plan can be found here.