The Initiative, which involves Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia, was launched in 2016 to increase safety and security, promote sustainable blue growth and jobs, and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity
4 July 2017, Brussels-. The “Workshop on the Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean” was held in Brussels on 4th July 2017 to discuss the best possible governance structure of the Initiative. It was proposed to set up an operational coordination through a Western Mediterranean Task Force linked to the UfM Working Group on Blue Economy; it was also proposed that an Assistance Mechanism (operational from early 2018) would support governance and overall implementation of the Initiative.
The maritime economy of the western Mediterranean region has huge potential for development The western Mediterranean region, with 200 ports and terminals, hosts crucial routes for the carriage of goods or/and passengers. The region attracts the largest number of tourists and is a biodiversity hotspot, with 481 marine protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites; it is also a rich fishing ground, accounting for over 30 % of the total value of landings at first sale in the Mediterranean, and providing more than 36 000 direct jobs on fishing vessels.
Climate change, population growth and ageing, migration are among the main pressures magnified by the phenomenon of globalization. The Western Mediterranean Initiative, which involves Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia, was launched in 2016 to increase safety and security, promote sustainable blue growth and jobs, and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity in the western Mediterranean region by fostering the coordination and cooperation among the countries.
Following the EU communication COM (2017)183 Final released on 19 April 2017, a potential Ministerial meeting for the full and final political endorsement of the Western Mediterranean Initiative was proposed to be held at the end of November.
The workshop was also an opportunity to discuss a proposal for a EU funded Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) pilot project for Western Mediterranean partner countries.