MEPs Stress the Importance of Blue Growth in the EU

23 April 2013

On 23 April 2013, Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) of the European Parliament discussed the draft report on “Blue Growth – enhancing sustainable growth in the EU’s marine, maritime transport and tourism sectors”.

Rapporteur, Spyros Danelli (S&D/Greece, photo), presented a motion for a European Parliament resolution concerning the Commission’s Communication on Blue Growth, which forms the maritime dimension of the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy. The aim is to enhance the potential of the maritime economy in order to create sustainable growth and employment.

MEPs discussed the Commission’s extensive study of the economic potential of maritime and coastal sectors which identifies five areas with particular potential for job creation and the application of innovations. These are the blue energy (wind and ocean), aquaculture, maritime and coastal tourism, marine mineral extraction, and blue biotechnology.

However, the draft report focuses on addressing two basic challenges of particular importance in order to maximise the benefits associated with blue growth. The first is the need to ensure that the workforce has the necessary skills for the emerging maritime sectors, so that blue growth is 'high-employment growth'. The second is to ensure the 'integrated sustainability' of blue growth, i.e. that it will not damage the fragile marine environment and make a powerful contribution to combating climate change.

The Commission expressed its satisfaction for the productive discussion held by the TRAN Committee. The EC also announced that it will address the issue of maritime tourism at the end of the year. Moreover, it will also prepare an impact assessment on the economic potential and the sustainability of deep-sea mining.

The deadline to present amendments is 29 April. The TRAN Committee will vote the final report on 30 May.

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