01 Oct 15. The European Commission has released a call for proposals related to the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) in the Mediterranean and/or Black Sea region. This call was launched in accordance with the 2015 Work Programme for the Implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
According to the document, the European Commission is set to award grants for projects which will enable better IMP approaches and initiatives, and promote job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. One of the following actions will be supported as part of the grant:
- Pilot public-private partnerships amongst Black Sea and/or Mediterranean stakeholders in order to promote mutual understanding, awarenessraising and joint responses to well-identified challenges hindering integration between maritime actors in areas such as maritime environment, coastal and maritime tourism, maritime transport, business and skills development;
- Promote the networking between maritime clusters in the Black Sea and/or the Mediterranean on concrete initiatives/topics focusing on research and innovation, business development or skills development, in relation to the maritime policy and the blue economy.
Given the regional focus of the projects, there are certain eligibility criteria for participation. Eligible participants can include: Stakeholders from the EU and partner countries bordering both sea basins and participating in the respective cooperation frameworks (e.g. Union for the Mediterranean, EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region, Black Sea Synergy, etc.); as well as regional and international organisations active in these sea basins. Interested participants must respond to the call by 26 November 2015.
The IMP was launched in 2007 and it encompasses all elements of maritime activity, including marine transport, competitiveness of marine businesses, employment in marine sectors, scientific research, and protection of the marine environment. It contains two levels of action:
– Integrated approach to maritime policy-making
Annual Work Programmes
European Maritime and Fisheries Funs (EMFF) operational programmes
– Concrete measures for maritime governance, environment and economy.
The IMP links in with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), which was adopted by European Commission and endorsed by European Council in 2009. The EUSBSR constitutes regional implementation of the IMP and, according to the official website, it has four pillars: Environmental, Prosperity, Attractiveness and Accessibility, Safety and Security.
The primary action points for the IMP in the Baltic Sea, as described by the EU in 2012, are:
– Maritime spatial planning: There is great competition for the use of the marine space.
– Maritime surveillance:
– Cooperation already exists, but needs to be reinforced both across sectors and across borders.
– Clean Baltic shipping: An “umbrella action” covering shore-side electricity, treatment of waste-water etc. is needed.
– Fisheries: Problems connected to overfishing, discard and control in fisheries remain serious. Debate on 2012 reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP) will be launched this year.
– Maritime clusters: Increasing the networks between actors involved in the maritime economy.
(Source: MPI – Hawk Information)