The European Commission (EC) recently launched an initiative that will improve safety and security in the Western Mediterranean while promoting sustainable economic growth.
The initiative includes Southern partner countries per the European Union’s (EU) neighborhood policy.
According to an EC report on the new blue economy initiative, the Mediterranean’s biodiversity has decreased 50 percent over the past 50 years, and the increased level of migration across the sea has led to safety and security concerns, according to a news release.
Five EU member states – France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta – will cooperate with five Southern partner countries – Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
Its focus is increasing safety and security in the western Mediterranean and promoting sustainable economic growth that creates jobs while preserving the sea’s ecosystems and biodiversity. Specifically, the initiative will target increasing cooperation between the participating nations coasts guards and improving response to both accidents and oil spills. The countries will also work to conserve habitats, foster biotechnology and promote coastal tourism, while sharing data and marine knowledge.
The initiative is funded by existing funds and financial instruments, and the EC expects that it will draw in additional funding from public and private investors.