The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) welcomes the European Commission Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy – A much-needed step forward to harness the untapped potential of the sea but stresses that the Strategy will only succeed if it builds on the strengths, expertise and experience of regions.
The renewable offshore sector is key to reach a climate neutral Europe and to boost regions’ – both maritime and inland – competitiveness and economic recovery. The CPMR welcomes the holistic approach of the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, which recognizes that the development and deployment of offshore renewable energy can benefit a large number of regions and territories and provide for a fair transition and economic diversification. The CPMR, however, stresses that the involvement of regional authorities, as well as appropriate financial and policy means and recognition of their specificities, is key to ensure a fair energy transition for all, as stated in its recently adopted political policy position.
The CPMR is pleased that the Strategy acknowledges the need for having tailor-made solutions depending on technological maturity and sea basins’ specificities. A place-based approach will be crucial to ensure that the potential of all sea basins and all regions is unleashed. Climate and Energy CPMR Vice President Richard Sjölund said: “The Strategy should not forget to promote a balanced transition that ensures access to clean energy to all regions and their citizens. Sea basin cross-border cooperation and coordination with non-EU countries will be key to deliver on the Strategy and European Green Deal objectives.”
The CPMR welcomes the inclusion of regional authorities in the Clean Energy Industrial Forum for Renewables but calls for it to be a driver for change and not only a forum of discussion. CPMR Secretary General Eleni Marianou said: “The strategy is a good starting point to harness the potential of CPMR Member Regions which have since long been pioneers in the development of offshore renewable energies. The CPMR hopes that their voice and expertise will be heard and that the Clean Energy Industrial Forum on Renewables will serve to this purpose.”
The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) represents more than 150 regional authorities from 24 countries across Europe and beyond. Organised in 6 geographical commissions, the CPMR works to ensure that a balanced territorial development is at the heart of the European Union and its policies.
Commissioner Sinkevičius is tackling environmental threats in the Baltic region
Today (28 September), Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, is organizing a high-level conference ‘Our Baltic' to address the environmental threats in the Baltic region. The Conference will focus on how to reduce pressure on the Baltic Sea and boost existing commitments in protecting it, as well as undertake new actions to tackle these problems.
Commissioner Sinkevičius said: “Action is needed in the Baltic to improve its state and preserve its biodiversity. This is why I took the initiative to bring the relevant decision makers to the table, and see how we can reduce pollution and litter, promote sustainable fishing, and roll out a common approach to reducing the inputs of nutrients. I look forward to our discussions during this high-level event.”
The most predominant threats in the Baltic Sea stem from excessive nutrients leading to eutrophication, high fishing pressure on some stocks in the past, marine litter, pollutants and contaminants including pharmaceuticals. It will aim to translate the Commission's ambitions defined in the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies into concrete European measures for specific sea basins. The event will combine a high-level Ministerial session and stakeholder discussions. Ministers for environment, agriculture and fisheries from the eight EU member states in the region (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden) will also sign a Ministerial Declaration which will build on reinforced implementation of existing EU legislation in these countries and commit to reaching new targets agreed in the new EU strategies.
Commission approves €720,000 Maltese scheme to support #BluefinTuna fishermen
The European Commission has approved a €720,000 Maltese scheme to support self-employed Bluefin tuna fishermen that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the state aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The aid will be calculated based on the quota assigned by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to Bluefin tuna fishermen in 2020.
The purpose of the scheme is to compensate the drop in the price of Bluefin tuna on the market and therefore help those fishermen to continue their activities after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Maltese scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the grants will not exceed €120,000 per beneficiary. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.
On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU state aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57984 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
What's next for the future of oceans - EU launches consultation on #InternationalOceanGovernance
The EU has launched a targeted consultation to assess development needs and options for the EU's International Ocean Governance Agenda. High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell said: “The protection of our oceans is a global challenge that requires a collective response. The European Union is doing its part and ready to do more. We are determined to continue to fulfil our responsibility towards our citizens and to work with partners across the world. We all want sustainable and healthy oceans and to improve their governance.”
Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius added: “The EU is fully committed to promoting ocean governance. We are a reliable partner in strengthening the international framework, a top donor in building capacity, a strong supporter of ocean science and a business partner for the sustainable ‘blue economy'. This consultation will help the EU to lead on delivering of global sustainability objectives for the ocean.”
The consultation aims to identify relevant actions in light of today's challenges and opportunities in delivering global sustainability objectives for oceans, in particular in support of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goal on the oceans (SDG14) under the 2030 Agenda.