In 2023, Portugal will chair the Atlantic Strategy Committee in accordance with the principle of rotation among the participating countries (IE, FR, PT and ES) of the Atlantic Strategy. As referred to in the 2022 EU Blue Economy Report “It is also important to know the extent of Blue Economy activities by sea basin to be able to determine the effects of the Blue Economy at a regional level.” The Atlantic Sea Basin has unique features due to its geography, the model of governance and the potential and opportunities.
In 2023, the revised Atlantic Action Plan (AAP 2.0) will complete 3 years of implementation, and it’s time to take stock of the achievements made so far regarding its objectives, namely, to unlock the potential of sustainable blue economy in the Atlantic area while preserving marine ecosystems and contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation.”
The Portuguese Presidency intends to promote the discussion about the achievements of the AAP 2.0 and blue economy challenges in the Atlantic Sea Basin. This debate should be enlarged to all stakeholders, including national, regional and local authorities, economic and social actors, civil society, academia and non-governmental organisations. One of the main goals is a Ministerial meeting with the members of government responsible for Maritime Affairs of the Atlantic Strategy members States and The European Commission. The AAP 2.0 brought along novel features such as the four thematic pillars and related Task Forces led by a pillar coordinator.
The Presidency will closely follow up the work of the Pillars, bearing in mind that the development of sustainable Blue Economy in the Atlantic Sea Basin lies at the heart of the AAP 2.0, i.e., combining sustainable transformation with a high job creation potential in the Atlantic coastal communities. Another goal is related to the international dimension of the Atlantic Action Plan 2.0. The research and innovation activities implemented as part of the Galway and Belém Statements and the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance cut across all pillars. The Portuguese Presidency agrees that only a “better understanding of the changing Atlantic Ocean and its effects on coastal communities can provide innovative solution”.
Further deepening the international dimension of the Atlantic Action Plan 2.0 is one of the major goals of the Portuguese Presidency, therefore it intends to bring new stakeholders from different geographies to share their experience and best practices. The Portuguese Presidency is looking forward to working closely with the European Commission, the Atlantic Strategy Committee members, the Assistance Mechanism and the Pillars Coordinators to achieve the ambitious agenda set this year.