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Connecting to the Mediterranean blue economy community

The Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership organised the workshop "The key towards Mediterranean regional Sustainability," as part of the POSIDONIA International Shipping Exhibition in Athens on 7 June 2024. The workshop offered an occasion for participants to exchange experiences, knowledge and good practice, explore the potential for cooperation and common undertakings, and network with relevant counterparts.

The Partnership is committed to engaging key actors from academia, industry, government and civil society. The POSIDONIA workshop served as an opportunity, particularly for the maritime industry from the Mediterranean sea basin, to learn more about what the Partnership can offer in terms of funding, networking and investment opportunities. Representatives from various projects co-funded by the 1st call of the Partnership also presented their initiatives at the event.

”The key towards Mediterranean regional Sustainability” workshop was the first in a series of five regional workshops aiming to define the policy priorities of the local dimension, keeping in mind the pan-European scope of the Partnership. The workshops are joint undertakings between the Partnership’s Brussels Cellule, responsible for building and engaging the community both at regional and international level, and the regional sea basin nodes, that advise on the strategic agenda and bridge the regional and the European dimensions. In so doing, the nodes add value by creating synergies and connectivity with key blue economy stakeholders in their region.

The Mediterranean workshop featured high-level speakers from international institutions including the European Investment Bank, the European Commission’s DG Research & Innovation and DG Martime Affairs and Fisheries, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and the UN Environment Programme – Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP). Representatives from academy and research centers shared their expertise in applied research and developing business solutions, while speakers from the Governments of Greece, Italy, and Slovenia ensured national level representation.  

The workshop included three thematic panels on some of the blue sector areas: Marine energy and multiuse offshore platforms; Coastal and maritime tourism; Spatial planning and MED ports. Two panel discussions looked into enablers which can put policies into practice. The first one, discussed synergies between sectoral actors such as BlueMissionMed, Prima, Westmed, EUSAIR, Interreg, UNEP/MAP and UfM. The second panel was related to business and funding opportunities, ensuring market uptake and infrastructure financing, well-aligned with the Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership’s emphasis on private sector participation in its calls. The panel discussions fed into a World Café, which rounded off the workshop by sharing good practices, innovative technologies, funding opportunities and project experiences.

The next regional workshop will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria back-to-back with the BRIDGE Hi Tech Summit on17h October, focusing on the Black Sea. The following one will concentrate on the North Sea and be organised in relation to the BANOS Lighthouse 3rd Mission Arena in November (TBC). The workshops for the Baltic and Atlantic will most likely take place in spring 2025 back-to-back with the BANOS Baltic Forum (TBC) and OKEANOS, respectively.