Announcing the Full Day Seminar 

“The evolving EU Integrated Maritime Policy  - Making the move to ensure coherence in the Regional Seas”

SunDown Courts, San Gwann - 10th December, 2008

On 10th October 2007, the European Commission issued the Blue Book which sets the vision for a European Integrated Maritime Policy and introduces a detailed action plan for the coming years. The focus of this policy is the holistic approach in maritime affairs intended to maintain European excellence and competitiveness, based on research and advances in science and technology, and targeting globalization, climate change and pollution problems affecting the seas and oceans.

The Blue Book highlights the cross-sectoral approach and the interdependence of the economic, social, political and environmental factors in the governance of the European seas and oceans. The stated aim of the policy is to strengthen the protection of the marine environment while opening up the possibilities of growth and employment. The Blue Book also takes into account the international dimension of coherence, duties and obligations.

The Seminar deals with the process of putting the EU Integrated Maritime Policy in practice, and on achievements made since the adoption of the Blue Book. The focus of the Seminar is on the implications in the governance of the Mediterranean, Black sea and Baltic sea as regional entities, and on the linkages of the European Maritime Policy with the EU Neighbouring States to ensure coherence with the policies of these countries in a wider context. Holding to the view of an indivisible ocean, the coherence nature of the EU integrated maritime policy presents a formidable challenge that can only be surmounted by the degree of understanding, cooperation and synergies achieved with the neighbouring countries.  The EU integrated maritime policy can be a model for the national maritime policies, including non-EU countries, and is a major pillar for ocean governance; it must however embrace the regional distinctions and the different realities in the neighbouring states, and explore opportunities for parallel and complementary approaches.

The Seminar is articulated on three segments:

SEGMENT 1 targeting to review the recent developments in the implementation of the policy since December 2007. It will describe the operational tools in the implementation process and provide examples on how the EU is overcoming compartmentalization in its strategy for an integrated maritime policy.

SEGMENT 2 addressing the regional challenges as well as issues of coherence and the state of cooperation and harmonization with the non-EU neighborhood countries. This segment will bring to the forth the efforts of the EU to reach the hearts and minds of these countries and their policy makers, including the extent to which capacity building for these countries is being taken into consideration to synergise their undertakings in marine affairs to those of the EU maritime policy. 

SEGMENT 3 addressing the global challenges to the EU integrated maritime policy, and on how Europe intends to respond to these challenges.  Some of these challenges include maritime security and rising concerns in piracy and terrorism. How will a surveillance network be made effective in non-EU waters and at what cost?  Can a purely EU surveillance network be effective?  How to respond to the challenge of climate change, which is a global concern, particularly when shipping, accounting for 5% of world carbon emissions and twice that of air transport, yet remains outside the Kyoto convention.  The current financial crisis and investment squeeze will impact on seaborne trade and decline the demand for maritime transport. Will there be an EU response? Will the EU take a global lead?

This event is organized on the wings of the 4th Session of the IOI Malta Training Course on Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean and Eastern European Countries, a flagship activity of the International Ocean Institute and a very prestigious international course for the University of Malta which is held annually over a 5-week period. The course is specifically designed to benefit mid-career professionals, government officials, educators, researchers and civil society participants, preferably with coastal/marine-related responsibilities, of the Mediterranean, the Black, the Baltic and the Caspian Seas.  It draws upon the conduct of maritime affairs in line with the Lisbon Strategy targeting the Millennium Development Goals and building upon a holistic and integrated maritime policy following the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Please register for this seminar by sending an email with your contact details to Dr. Aldo Drago, Director of IOI-MOC on or by calling on 21 440972