EU sets out action on western Mediterranean blue economy
This is the fruit of years of dialogue between ten countries of the region who are ready and willing to work together on these shared interests for the region.
The five EU Member States of France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta, and five Southern partner countries, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, have all pledged their participation.
This follows the MedFish4Ever Declaration, signed by Mediterranean ministerial representatives of eight EU member states and seven third countries on the on March 30.
The two initiatives are expect to complement each other in protecting the region's ecological and economic wealth.
The western Mediterranean initiative covers economic hubs such as Barcelona, Marseille, Naples and Tunis while also encompassing tourist destinations such as the Balearic Islands, Sicily and Corsica.
According to the EU Commission, Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy of the Western Mediterranean is another example of the EU's successful neighbourhood policy.
According to a recent report by scientists from the Joint Research Centre, there are strong indications that 50% of the region’s biodiversity has been lost in the last 50 years.
In addition to this are recent security and safety concerns from the increase in migration from the south to the north.
This initiative will allow EU and neighbouring countries to work together to increase maritime safety and security, promote sustainable blue growth and jobs, and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity. ■