The Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Ricardo Serrão Santos, promoted a broad, inclusive discussion on the sustainable blue economy at the High-Level Conference on "A Blue Agenda in the Green Deal” in Lisbon, on 8 June, World Oceans Day, under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and 20 ministers and ministerial representatives from the Member States also took part in the ministerial meeting on the conclusions reached on the subject of integrated maritime policy, which was held in the morning. The alignment of this policy with the guidelines of the European Green Deal and its specific role in the economic recovery after the pandemic were some of the topics discussed.
As part of “Month of the Sea”, this meeting was another opportunity to reinforce the importance of the conclusions reached by the Council on integrated maritime policy, 14 years after its original launch, also in Lisbon. It was agreed that the ocean is not only important for economic activities, but is also essential for the well-being and prosperity of humankind. “These are times for policies that are inspired by ‘ocean-based solutions’, where ecosystem services must be taken seriously”, said the Minister of the Sea.
In the second part of the conference in the afternoon, high-level speakers, including the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, and António Costa Silva, discussed the four bases of the conclusions of the European Council on the sustainable blue economy, approved on 26 May: healthy oceans, knowledge, prosperity and social equity.