Based on the outcomes of projects funded under the European Cooperation Programme for the Mediterranean area (the Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020), a policy paper on the blue economy in the Mediterranean was published. This policy paper includes objectives and actions to promote the blue economy in the Mediterranean. While the focus is regional, the outcomes are equally applicable across Europe. Specific policy recommendations for three focal sectors were developed, namely yachting, marine renewable energy and maritime surveillance. The recommendations are addressed towards the EU institutions, international and intergovernmental organizations, Member States and regional authorities.
EBI was closely involved in the development of the policy paper and provided input on the challenges for the recreational boating sector in the Mediterranean, as well as across Europe. These and a number of EBI’s policy recommendations were successfully taken up and include among others:
- Harmonisation of skipper licenses at EU level
- Harmonisation of the regulatory framework at EU level for on-board staff employment, health and safety at work and other areas
- Development of digital tools and procedures to reduce administrative burden
- Promotion of environmental sustainability through circular economy, support by Member States and EU institutions for end-of-life boat policies
- Public support by Member States and the EU for research on clean propulsion boats and use of renewable energy use in ports and marinas
- Creation of educational pathways for qualifications and professions in the recreational boating industry
The paper also calls for support to the sector through economic development policies and to raise public awareness of the sectors’ strength, SME focus and potential for sustainable growth in the blue economy. This paper will be further promoted and brought to the attention of the EU institutions in the coming months. The full policy paper can be found here.
The projects under Interreg MED were iBlue, MAESTRALE, PELAGOS, PROteuS and 4Helix+.