Press Release - Boost to blue economy as Limassol Declaration is adopted
08.10.2012, 11:39 (CET)
EU Ministers responsible for maritime affairs agreed and adopted yesterday a political declaration which looks to re-energise the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), five years after its initial launching in Lisbon. The Limassol Declaration was presented today, Monday, October 8 at a special ceremony in Limassol by Cyprus’ Communications and Works Minister, Mr. Efthemios Flourentzou, in the attendance of the President of Cyprus Mr. Demetris Christofias and the President of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso, who was also the visionary of EU’s IMP. The Limassol Declaration is expected to mark a milestone for the future implementation and development of the EU’s IMP, by providing guidelines for a comprehensive and coherent approach to the maximum sustainable exploitation of the EU’s seas and oceans for achieving economic growth.

The two-day Informal Ministerial Meeting in Cyprus was chaired by Mr. Flourentzou and focused exclusively on the future of the EU’s IMP. Ministers agreed to endorse the political declaration, which constitutes a Cyprus Presidency initiative.

“The Limassol Declaration expresses our common willingness and determination to develop policies and promote activities which will create the right conditions for growth and employment through maritime and shipping activities,” said the Cypriot Minister during the presentation of the Declaration.

The EU’s IMP constitutes an innovative cross-cutting policy which is considered extremely important in the efforts to enhance the EU’s ability to exploit to the maximum the sustainable use of oceans, seas and coasts in an all-rounded way.

Through the Limassol Declaration, ministers expressed their intention to provide the EU’s IMP with a new impetus, thus helping the EU meet its objectives of Strategy “Europe 2020” and provide the Union with more potential options for getting out of the financial crisis.

The Declaration, which focuses on ‘Blue Growth’ and the IMP’s external dimension, is  a Cyprus Presidency initiative, and was formulated through a cooperation of the Cyprus Presidency, the European Commission and the Friends of the Presidency Working Party of the Council of the EU.

Blue Growth

An important component of both the EU’s IMP and the Declaration is ‘Blue Growth’, which is an initiative that aims to stimulate growth, jobs and competitiveness from marine and maritime sectors. Areas such as EU shipping, shipbuilding and ship equipment industry, coastal and maritime tourism and renewable energy sources are regarded as sectors of untapped economic potential.

Blue Growth targets the development of maritime activities and especially those which present the most promising potential.

By highlighting this potential and exploring ways of sustainable exploitation, the Declaration provides a positive outlook for the possible prospective contribution of these sectors to the future of the EU’s blue economy.

“Through this new momentum provided by the Limassol Declaration, we must create the right conditions for sustainable growth and for the creation of new jobs,” said Mr. Flourentzou.

IMP’s external dimension

Through the Declaration, the EU also underlines the need for further enhancement of sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperation between EU Member States and third countries which share a sea basin. Boosted cooperation, dialogue and exchange of best practices are seen as key for the advancement of the EU’s capacity to exploit the rising maritime sectors. The Declaration also highlights the necessity of compliance with the legal framework set out by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

 “The sea should be a force of unity for people, and should create progress and clever, viable and sustainable growth. To this end, the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy constitutes a perfect tool, while the Limassol Declaration constitutes the perfect guideline,” concluded Mr. Flourentzou.

The EU’s IMP is an initiative that was launched in 2007 in the most westernmost part of Europe, Lisbon, and has been “re-energised” today in the easternmost part, Limassol. The “Limassol Declaration” is a breakthrough moment for the EU’s vision for its oceans and seas.

The Limassol Declaration will be submitted to the General Affairs Council for further examination, while relevant Council Conclusions are expected from the European Council in December.

Presidency Spokesperson in Cyprus
Costas Yennaris

Mobile: +357 99400234
Coordinator on Maritime Transport and EU Integrated Maritime Policy, Communications Officer
Vassilis Demetriades

Ministry of Communications & Works
Integrated Maritime Policy
Telephone: +357 22800256
Communications Officer
Konstantina Liperi

Ministry of Communications and Works

Telephone: +357 22800246
Mobile: +357 99923041


Limassol Declaration

From Lisbon to Limassol
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