This event was the first national joint event connecting the Atlantic Action plan and the WestMED initiative. Beyond recalling the ministerial declarations which were endorsed in 2023, it was the opportunity to declare the Presidency of the AAP for France and to share the message of the Portuguese Presidency for Westmed to the attendance which was mainly composed of national stakeholders.
Regional authorities (Sud and Brittany) presented their engagement on blue economy and some actions related to cooperation. Project related to smart ports and decarbonization of the shipping were presented as good examples supporting the sea basin initiatives but also with strong synergies to be shared or replicated.
The event was also the opportunity to recall the ongoing and future funding opportunities to be considered for each initiative implementation but also to ensure the engagement/participation of the French blue economy Community. A focus on the Innovation fund was made as its last call is now open to decarbonization in the maritime industry.
Sea basin synergies and project examples
Regional authorities from Sud and Bretagne (see video) presented their blue economy engagements and some of the actions related to cooperation between the sea basins. Projects related to smart ports and decarbonization of the shipping sector were presented as good examples supporting both sea basin initiatives while having with strong synergies to be shared and replicated.
(see presentation 1 | see presentation 2)
The event was also an opportunity to highlight ongoing and future funding opportunities to be considered for new initiatives and projects with the purpose to ensure the engagement/participation from the French blue economy Community. A focus on the Innovation fund was made as its last call is now open to decarbonization in the maritime industry.
(see presentation 3)
The support provided by the Assistance Mechanism to develop projects with the stakeholders was recalled with the pivotal role of the two Poles Mer (Pôle Mer Méditerranée and Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique) to ensure the relay of bottom-up ideas projects to be implemented via the EU funding opportunities.
EU Sea Basins Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic and WestMED
The French National Hub’s attendance during Euromaritime was also the opportunity to provide a dedicated explanation and discussion related to both initiatives and the Assitance Mechanism with the visitors (EU MPs, regional authorities, NGOs but also SMEs). For this reason a dedicated EU Sea Basins booth was available at the Pole Mer Mediterranee stand, to promote the work of the EU Sea Basins Mechanism and the objectives of the two sea basin strategies.
(see presentation 4)
Main next steps:
- Lessons learned of the presented project to be promoted in each sea basin but also between the seas basins
- Dissemination of the call for interest of the Smart Ports “En Grand” to be launched in February 2024 where national and international stakeholders can bid on and follow up of the results
- Support to be provided by the French NH to Grand Port en Grand initiative to identify additional funding to support the initiative and enlarging it to other territories (national and international)
Regional actors that participated:
Région Sud, Région Bretagne, Pole Mer Méditerranée , Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique, Université Aix Marseille, Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, French DG Maritime Affaires and Fisheries, Bouygues Energies & Services, CCI Aix Marseille Provence