Press Release - Limassol Declaration: Giving the Europe 2020 Strategy a strong maritime dimension
08.10.2012, 09:22 (CET)
The Cyprus Presidency has set the promotion of the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) as a strategic priority in the European Union, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Demetris Christofias said today, pointing out that the EU should develop cooperation with third countries with which the Union shares the same sea basin.

In his speech today at the ceremony for the “Limassol Declaration” on the EU’s IMP, in the presence of the President of the European Commission Mr José Manuel Barroso, President Christofias said that the IMP aims to increase Europe’s ability to tackle the challenges that arise from globalisation and competitiveness, from climatic changes, the degradation of the maritime environment, the security and protection of shipping, as well as energy security and viability. 

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.

Underlining the pioneering role of Mr. Barroso in the creation of the EU’s IMP, President Christofias said that “we should speed up the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy by bringing back the European economy into a course of growth and by creating new jobs.” He added that currently maritime activities offer jobs to 5.4 million Europeans. 

IMP – An important point for ‘blue growth’

The President noted that the promotion of the IMP is a strategic priority for the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the European Union and constitutes an important starting point for the blue development. 

President Christofias welcomed the fact that the “Limassol Declaration” underlines the importance for promoting dialogue, enhanced cooperation, and the exchange of best practices with regard to maritime affairs at both the regional and international level. He also welcomed the fact that in the framework of the “Limassol Declaration”, all maritime activities will be conducted in compliance with the legal framework provided by the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) and other relevant international Conventions.

“We must assume initiatives to develop cooperation with third countries with which we share the same sea basin. Especially the Mediterranean sea basin, which has been the focus of tensions and wars many times, it is imperative to transform it into a sea of peace, cooperation and cultural development, with the solution of the pending issues, the Middle East issue and the Cyprus question,” President Christofias said.

On his part, President Barroso noted that in terms of growth and job creation part of the answer is through the blue economy. This sector is booming, and at times of crisis and pressure, this is rare good news, he said.

Growth in innovative sectors

President Barroso said that the overall employment in the European maritime economic activities is expected to go from 5.4 to 7 million by 2020, and the cruise sector alone may grow by 60 percent.

“But there is growth in new innovative sectors as well as in the traditional sector of shipping,” he added.

He pointed out that facilitating investment in maritime Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is one of the key priorities of the European Semester.

“This is where we should be pooling our efforts,” he said, noting that the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament are discussing, under the steering of the Cyprus Presidency, the Commission's proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020.

“In this context, Horizon 2020, the new Research and Development programme, has been designed keeping in mind blue growth and with a specific focus on supporting marketable innovation.”

Mr Barroso said that a future-oriented EU budget “is our most important tool to target investment and channel it on growth and jobs. Given the immense potential of the maritime economy, the support for maritime sectors and coastal regions should be fully anchored into the new Multiannual Financial Framework.”

Concluding he said that “the Declaration we are adopting today is a strong basis on which to develop the blue economy in Europe. By doing so we are giving a strong maritime pillar to the Europe 2020 strategy.”

Communications Officer
Riana Magidou

Press Office of the President of the Republic

Mobile: +357 99588299


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