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Commission enhances cooperation for sustainable development ofblue economy in the Western Mediterranean. The sea's biodiversity is under severe pressure with a recent report indicating that 50% has been lost in the last 50 years. In addition to this are recent security and safety concerns from the

increase in migration from the South to the North.

These, among others, are the reasons why the European Commission launched today a new initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean region. The initiative will increase maritime safety and security, promote sustainable blue growth and jobs, and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity.

It is an example of EU's successful neighbourhood policy as five EU Member States (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malta) and five Southern partner countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) will work jointly on their shared interests in the region.

The initiative will be funded by existing international, EU, national and regional funds and financial instruments, which will be coordinated and complementary. This should create leverage and attract funding from other public and private investors.

 

This enhanced cooperation is particularly timely as just three weeks ago the Commission secured a 10-year pledge to save Mediterranean fish stocks in the Ministerial MedFish4Ever Declaration. Among others, the initiative's targeted actions include cooperation between coast guards, response to accidents and oil spills, habitat conservation, biotechnology, data sharing, marine knowledge and coastal tourism.

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