Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 148

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N V I R O N M E N T
“In addition to the use of the European Maritime
and Fisheries Fund, we are also trying to build
links between Regional and Structural Funds
and to work with other means such as, for
example, the European Investment Fund or
other private funding, through which we hope
to multiply the effect of the resources.”
Sustainable futures
Siemers also revealed that the European
Commission has one eye fixed firmly on the
future, and is looking at the maritime economy
of tomorrow and, moreover, at a transnational
maritime economy for two reasons. He
explained: “One of these reasons is to identify
the policies that affect the different sectors at
both the member state and EU levels so as to
better support the creation of jobs and growth
and to see where these are not as developed as
they could, or should, be (indeed, in some areas,
this type of policy is actually non-existent).”
The second reason, Siemers said, is sustainable
innovation. He revealed: “We want to make sure
that growth in the maritime economy is not
something that focuses only on short term gains.
We must look to the long term, and it seems that
the only way of doing this is to make sure that
everything is as sustainable as possible for the
environment in which it takes place.
“The strongest example I can give of this is the
controversial issue of mining the seafloor. The
only way in which we as Europeans can
succeed in this – and the only way we can, for
example, export our top-notch deep-sea
technology outside of the EU – is by making
sure that this activity develops in the most
sustainable way possible.”
After a brief discussion of maritime surveillance
systems (which he argued are numerous,
expensive and lacking in communication at
both member state and EU levels), Siemers
informed his audience that maritime spatial
planning is a further area that the Commission
November, Portal attended the ‘Small & Medium Sized Ports
as hubs for Smart Growth and Sustainable Connectivity’
conference in Bruges. At this event, which was organised
by the INTERREG 2 Seas programme authorities and the PAC2 cluster
partners, Haitze Siemers, from the European Commission’s DG MARE,
delivered a keynote address on ‘Ports’ alliances at the heart of the EU
smart, sustainable & inclusive blue growth strategy 2014-2020’.
He began by highlighting the importance of Europe’s maritime policy in
contributing to the objectives of the European Union – jobs and growth
– in the context of continuing economic difficulties. This, he revealed,
was done through a thorough analysis of what the maritime economy is
actually like within a wider context. From this, perhaps one of the most
interesting findings was that the maritime economy overall grows faster
than the rest of the economy.
The maritime sector is, of course, very diverse and includes more
‘classical sectors’ such as shipping ports and yards, as well as areas
such as aquaculture and the coastal and marine sectors, within which
several million jobs exist. But it also includes ‘newer’ sectors such as
energy, in addition to areas such as biotechnology and the prospecting
of minerals from the seabed.
Discussing this diversity, Siemers said: “We are trying to encourage
member states and regions around the European Union – such as those
in and around the Baltic and Mediterranean seas – to develop strategies
for the development of their coastal and marine economies, and we try
to monitor that as closely as possible with regard to the use of European
Structural and Investment Funds.
A port(al) for innovation
expands on some of the comments made by DG MARE’s
Haitze Siemers
regarding the evolution of Europe’s ports into clusters for innovation
© tpsdave
The maritime economy
overall grows faster
than the rest
of the economy
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