Brest to become the European centre of Sustainable Blue Economy and Maritime Spatial Planning this May

This year the biggest European wide event to bring together maritime community – European Maritime Days will take place on 24-25 May in Brest, France.

More than 1000 participants from all over the world representing public authorities, European and international organisations, NGOs and academia will come together to discuss blue economy and marine environment. The EMD 2023 is being organised by the European Commission, the City of Brest, the Region of Brittany, the department of Finistère and the General Secretariat for the Sea. Registration is open until 19 May, learn more here.

The whole week will be filled with various events. Another event to highlight is the launching of the European Blue Forum on the 26 May. The European Blue Forum will build a pan-European sustainable blue economy stakeholder platform to discuss shared challenges and priorities over the medium term with the aim of finding consensus, synergies and solutions towards a common vision. It aims to fully represent European Sustainable Economy, including the underrepresented actors, new and emerging sectors together with the more established ones. The key principles for the European Blue Forum are to keep a flexible and expandable structure with no hierarchy. It must be inclusive and representative with proactive debate among the stakeholders.

Objectives of the European Blue Forum are to facilitate collaboration, share knowledge, contribute to policy coherence, facilitate interaction between sea users and empower local communities. After the European Blue Forum launch, deep-dive workshops will be organised on the two questions: What do we need from European Seas by 2030? And What does a fossil fuel free Sustainable Blue Economy look like? To learn more and be involved in the European Blue Forum, follow this site.

VASAB will participate in both events actively. Responsible for the communication of eMSP project, VASAB Secretariat team will be present in the project stand in the exhibition area. There you will have a chance to learn more about maritime spatial planning in North and Baltic Seas as well as get up to speed with all the activities still planned in the eMSP NBSR project. Furthermore, spatial planning expert Liene Gaujeniete will represent VASAB in workshop No. 19. How to plan & deploy nature friendly offshore wind? to talk about the role of cross-border cooperation and governance in coherent, ecosystem-based MSP. Workshop is organised by LPO/BirdLife International France and Renewables Grid Initiative and will bring together MSP expertise with views of NGOs and industry.

VASAB Secretariat has signed up to become a member of the European Blue Forum for further knowledge exchange with other European sea basins. VASAB has a wide network of stakeholders, has accumulated various knowledge about the Baltic Sea Region. In addition, the VASAB Vision for the Territorial Development of the Baltic Sea Region in 2040 can serve as an inspiration for others.

Looking forward to meeting you in Brest this May!

Written by Liene Gaujeniete