International ocean governance: EU’s contribution for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans

The European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy adopted today a Joint Communication, proposing actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans. The global ocean economy is estimated at €1.3 trillion. Climate change, poverty and food security are some of the global challenges that can be effectively addressed, if oceans are better protected and sustainably managed. As a strong global actor, the European Union sets out an agenda for better ocean governance based on a cross-sectoral, rules-based international approach. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, said: “We need to use all the tools we have to shape ocean governance and make it more and more part of the European Union’s external action. At the same time this is also a concrete example of how the EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy delivers in practice. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, noted: “The oceans offer great potential for boosting growth, jobs and innovation, while at the same time they are at the centre of some of the most pressing global challenges”. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Oceans make up 70% of the planet. The world has come to realise that oceans need better care. Joint action is needed to keep our oceans healthy. That is why the EU is taking the lead to create a stronger system of ocean governance around the globe.” Today’s proposal sets out 14 sets of actions in three priority areas: Improving the international ocean governance framework; reducing human pressure on the oceans and creating the conditions for a sustainable blue economy; and strengthening international ocean research and data.