The Portuguese Director-General for Maritime Policy, the Portuguese Regional Secretary for the Environment and the Sea and the EU Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), have announced that the first event of the Atlantic Forum, under the theme “Coastal and Deep Sea Natural Resources”, will be held in Portugal, in Faial Island – Azores. The event will be held on Friday 21st of September of 2012.
Interested participants can access further information on the Atlantic Forum, the Azores Meeting, as well as information on the subsequent Atlantic Fora meetings (Brest: October 2012; Bilbao: November 2012; Cardiff: February 2013; Galway: March 2013) at:
The aim of the Atlantic Forum is to ensure awareness of the EU Strategy for the Atlantic (EUSA) and EU funding processes and to provide stakeholders with a platform to input to the EUSA Action Plan (2014-2020) which will guide the implementation of the EUSA.
The EU Strategy for the Atlantic (2011) identifies a number of areas where there is scope for EU-level action to support the coastal and maritime economies of the Member States along the Atlantic seaboard. The momentum of the Atlantic Strategy towards “Blue Growth”, enhancing growth and jobs, will come through the development of marine renewable energies, new visions for aquaculture production, innovative scientific research, promotion of maritime culture and leisure in the Atlantic, including cruising and nautical sports, seabed mining and associated technologies, biotechnologies and greener shipping and an increase in short-sea shipping.
See also: Ireland welcomes European Strategy for the Atlantic, December 2011.
Commission Communication (COM2011 782 final (21.11.2011):
Developing a Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area
The Atlantic Ocean, which marks the western boundary of the EU, is the second largest of the world's oceans. This Communication responds to a request from the Council of the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament. It proposes a coherent and balanced approach that is consistent with the EU 2020 agenda and its flagship initiatives that promotes territorial cohesion and that takes into account the international dimension.
Whilst this proposed approach will largely focus on helping communities living and working on the Atlantic coast deal with new economic realities, it also recognises that the EU shares responsibility for stewardship of the world's oceans. Broadly speaking the strategy will cover the coasts, territorial and jurisdictional waters of the five EU Member States with an Atlantic coastline – France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as international waters reaching westward to the Americas, eastward to Africa and the Indian Ocean, southward to the Southern Ocean and northward to the Arctic Ocean.
The challenges and opportunities facing the Atlantic Ocean area are grouped within five themes:
Implementing the ecosystem approach, including fisheries, aquaculture, maritime spatial planning, etc;
Reducing Europe’s carbon footprint, including renewable ocean energy (offshore wind, wave and tidal), the greening of maritime transport, motorways of the sea, etc;
Sustainable exploitation of the Atlantic’s seafloor natural resources, including raw materials – minerals, biodiversity and data;
Responding to threats and emergencies, including maritime safety, risk management, security, etc;
Socially inclusive growth, including training, the establishment of maritime clusters, marine tourism, etc;
The Atlantic Strategy will not work only with action from the EU institutions. It requires engagement from Member States, regions, local authorities and private industry as well as think tanks. Developing the strategy for the Atlantic Ocean area is therefore based on the following methodology:
Building on the active engagement and initiative of Atlantic Member States, regions and other stakeholders in designing and implementing actions;
Promoting international cooperation;
Adopting an Action Plan for the strategy by the end of 2013, indicating specific projects and actions recommended for support;
"Smart governance" to implement the strategy, building on current structures.
For further information see: