By DG Mare, 2012.

More than 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water. This truly makes our planet the “Blue Planet”. Not only is water a precondition to the existence of life but it also provides resources that directly contribute to our society, ranging from sea transport to the production of raw materials, fisheries, leisure activities etc. The sea is an integral part of the European identity and of the continent’s economy. Among the 27 Member States of the European Union, 22 have a coast and two thirds of the European frontiers are set by the sea. In light of this, it is essential that Europe recognises the true potential of its marine resources and develops an integrated policy that acknowledges the inter-linkages that exist between the different domains and functions of its seas, oceans and coastal areas. The Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) that has been pursued by the European Commission since 2007 is an important step in realising Europe’s future strategies and policies. The Blue Growth project -“Scenarios and Drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts”- builds on earlier policy initiatives to recognise the potential of these marine resources and thus aids in realising the Europe 2020 strategy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.


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