Towards a sustainable blue economy in the European Union

Yesterday, the European Commission proposed a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU for the industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts. For transitioning from Blue Growth to a Sustainable Blue Economy, a transformation of the value chains will be needed. We explain you how. 


By: Mariana Mata-Lara


“Healthy oceans are a precondition for a thriving blue economy. Pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, coupled with the effects of the climate crisis, all threaten the rich marine biodiversity that the blue economy depends on. We must change tack and develop a sustainable blue economy where environmental protection and economic activities go hand in hand.” 

- Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal 


"The pandemic has hit the marine economy sectors in different, but profound ways. We have an opportunity to start afresh, and we want to make sure that the recovery shifts the focus from mere exploitation to sustainability and resilience. Thus to be truly green, we must also think blue.”

- Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs 



The  European Green Deal calls for a transformation of our economy to become a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where net emissions of greenhouse gases are phased out and the EU's natural capital is protected. The Recovery Plan for Europe sets out to boost the green and digital transitions and make Europe’s economy fairer, more resilient and more sustainable for future generations. The European Union’s blue economy can help achieve this dual challenge: if put on a more sustainable path, it will become a font of action and ideas creating innovation, spurring fast and lasting recovery and protecting our planet. A sustainable blue economy offers many solutions to achieve these objectives. Many of the current activities need to reduce their carbon footprint, while new, carbon-neutral activities need to take centre stage. But for this, a transformation of the blue economy value chains is needed. We explain to you how this can be achieved below. 


The Communication also discusses ocean knowledge, investment, research and innovation, blue skills and jobs, maritime spatial planning, maritime security and citizen engagement and ocean literacy, as well as sea basins, regional cooperation and support for coastal regions. To consult it in full please click here. For accessing the question and answers section click here