• Blue economy offers enormous potential for job creation and investment in the Mediterranean, particularly in terms of sustainable development, clustering and networking of education and training organisations, increased research and innovation capacity, skills development and access to finance.
• This potential can only be tapped through joint efforts and close cooperation between all littoral States.
The challenges affecting the Mediterranean Sea call for shared and, above all, integrated responses and improved governance. This is particularly relevant when considering the ever-increasing demands for natural resources and pressures on the marine environment, as well as the continued need for sustainable growth and jobs in marine and maritime sectors and regions.
In order to gain insight and input from the wide variety of stakeholders involved in marine and maritime issues and processes, a UfM Stakeholders’ Conference was held on 27 May, back-to-back with the 2nd UfM Ad Hoc Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on Blue Economy, which took place on 28 May in Athens in order to advance the preparations for the related Ministerial Meeting scheduled for late 2015.
The conference gathered around 150 policymakers, international organisations, private sector representatives, research centres and members of academia as well as civil society and financial institutions. It provided the opportunity to discuss and suggest proposals for specific actions on key priority topics of shared interest, as identified by the countries during the past years of common work and during the preparatory steps to the Ministerial Conference.
Carolina Pérez represented ECNC Group on the session devoted to marine litter.