What is BlueMed about?
The BLUEMED Initiative aims to advance a shared vision for a more healthy, productive, resilient, better known and valued Mediterranean Sea, promoting the citizens’ social well-being and prosperity, now and for future generations, and boosting economic growth and jobs.
Among the seas surrounding Europe, the Mediterranean has no match when it comes to biodiversity and the links between human activities and the environment. It is changing fast in response to both natural and anthropogenic pressures. Climate change, growing maritime traffic and pollution, overexploitation of fish stocks and invasions of alien species are among the stressors placing the region at risk. At the same time, the Mediterranean’s unique features provide major local opportunities for blue growth and jobs, ranging from fisheries to tourism.
The region’s geopolitical complexity may represent a constraint on the development of blue economic growth: joint efforts are required to address common challenges. A global perspective, transnational and international cooperation, are essential to realize safe, secure and sustainable development for all by taking into account national priorities.
A common Euro-Mediterranean strategy:
- Fostering innovative and multi-disciplinary research to address the Mediterranean coastal and marine ecosystem management;
- Developing new marine-related technologies that are adapted for the specific needs of the Mediterranean Sea, to boost the safe and sustainable economic growth of the maritime sectors in the EU and beyond, as well as conserving and valorising of marine cultural heritage;
- Developing an interoperable, fully integrated multiplatform with observing and forecasting capability supporting the conservation of biodiversity, forecasting and management of risks and emergencies at the coast and at sea;
- Supporting the citizens’ awareness of the importance of a sustainable and prosperous Mediterranean Sea for the surrounding countries and for Europe as a whole;
- Implementing the EU Integrated Maritime Policy by providing knowledge-based support to policy decisions towards ensuring the sustainable growth of the EU Mediterranean marine and maritime economy.
Supporting the implementation of EU Policies and Directives related to marine and maritime issues in the Mediterranean including better ecosystem assessments and forecasts and deeper understanding of vulnerability, risk and intervention. It also includes, better maritime spatial planning and knowledge-based support to management and decision-making towards the sustainable growth of the EU Mediterranean maritime economy in response to the societal and environmental challenges;
Promoting innovative multi-disciplinary research that will generate the knowledge needed to increase ecosystems resilience; provide new tools to mitigate the impacts from global climate change and the multiple environmental stressors in the Mediterranean Sea, and to protect and/or restore vulnerable marine ecosystems;
Developing new marine based technologies to boost safe and sustainable economic growth of the European maritime sectors, the conservation and valorisation of marine cultural heritage;
Creating an interoperable, fully integrated observing and forecasting capability. This will be based on open data structures and also foster easy access to them;
Promoting EU citizens’ awareness and literacy on the importance of a sustainable prosperous Mediterranean Sea for the surrounding countries and for Europe as a whole;
Training a new generation of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs and workers that are able to tackle complex ecological, economic and societal problems from an holistic perspective, while supporting learning, tertiary education, development and transfer of technologies and knowledge for new and qualified “jobs of the sea”.
Who is BlueMed?
The BLUEMED Initiative was jointly developed and agreed between Cyprus, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain and facilitated with the support of the European Commission in 2014.
It was afterwards endorsed by all the countries of the European Union, and with the signature of the Valletta Declaration in 2017 it was also adopted by all the member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
BlueMed has hence the opportunity to act on both sides of the Mediterranean and of promoting Euro-Mediterranean collaboration, fostering Blue Growth-related research and innovation activities.
The BlueMed Initiative
The BlueMed Initiative, set up in May 2014 in the framework of the European Strategy on Blue Growth, is a political initiative aiming at advancing a shared vision for a more healthy, productive, resilient, better known and valued Mediterranean Sea, promoting the citizens’ social well-being and prosperity, now and for future generations, and boosting economic growth and jobs.
The BlueMed approach is especially grounded on promoting the development and coordination of interdisciplinary reasearch on marine and maritime issues affecting blue economy.
- read more on the BlueMed Group of Senior Officials (GSO): the BlueMed Steering committee.
Nine European countries (Cyprus, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain), with the support of the European Commission, signed in October 2015 the Venice declaration on Mediterranean Sea Cooperation, launching a Strategic Research Marine and Maritime Research and Innovation Agenda for Blue Growth, the BlueMed SRIA.
In November 2015, the Union for the Mediterranean endorsed the BlueMed agenda with the Declaration on the Blue Economy, inviting non-EU countries to join the BlueMed Initiative.
An important milestone was then reached in April 2017, when all the UfM and EU member states endorsed the Valletta Declaration on strengthening Euro-Mediterranean cooperation through Research and Innovation.
- see the complete BlueMed timeline.
The BlueMed Coordination and Support Action (CSA)
It organizes the work of the thematic platforms, promotes coordination among blue economy actors and among the Mediterranean countries, and deals with all the practical details of the Inititiative’s activity, as well as contributes to shape the Initiative’s future developments.
As an operative tool, the project set up the BlueMed platforms on “Knowledge”, “Economy”, “Technology”, and “Policy”, four transversal thematic fora where country representatives, the National Pivots, meet and interact. Established to ensure broad consultation and constant dialogue at Mediterranean and national level, the platforms enhance virtuous relationships among different stakeholders to consolidate the SRIA towards the definition of the Implementation Plan.