News: The European Blue Forum - What's Next?

Foto: CINEA website

When reflecting back on the launch of the European Blue Forum, it is hard to believe that it is already one month since we met in Brest, France. Although the initiative is in its infancy, having only been launched in April this year, we have been hugely encouraged by the positive support and enthusiasm received from you, our members. However, as you can imagine, with any new initiative, the most frequently posed question, both during the event and since, relates to the future of the European Blue Forum.

In responding to this, firstly, it is important to recall that European Blue Forum is for stakeholders to unite and discuss shared challenges and priorities with the aim of finding consensus, synergies and solutions towards a common vision. Thus, in a large part, its future direction and activities will be shaped by the blue community that we are creating. However, this is an evolving process, and it is necessary to create and maintain a strong momentum by firstly providing the opportunities for stakeholders to come together and voice their priorities and challenges, as well as aspirations.

Building on the successful and dynamic panel sessions held in Brest, we are organising two ‘deep-dive’ virtual workshops, to be held after the summer, which will further explore the questions discussed at the launch event. Currently, the consolidated briefing paper prepared for the launch, is being developed further on the basis of the panel sessions in Brest, into two separate papers, one for each workshop.

In early July, a request for expressions of interest will be published, providing additional information about the workshops, and giving members of the European Blue Forum the opportunity to actively participate in the workshops. Although we would like to involve all our members in those virtual workshops, for logistical reasons that is unlikely to be possible and numbers will be limited to approximately 60-80 participants. However, if you want to be part of the workshops, you will need to answer the call for expression of interest.

Every effort will be made to ensure the workshops are as inclusive as possible. Recordings will be made available afterwards, and all members of the European Blue Forum will be invited to provide their comments and feedback to the discussions that take place.

The output from these workshops, and the final output from the first year of the European Blue Forum’s activities, will be the production of two stakeholder position papers, providing the perspectives of the entire European sustainable blue economy stakeholder group - our Blue Community.

In the next steps of the European Blue Forum, the position papers will be used to shape the forthcoming public blue policies. At the same time, we will strengthen coordination by engaging with all the Commission’s Directorates-General, ensuring that the diverse outputs and recommendations generated within the forum resonate with other EU policies.

At the end of this year, the European Blue Forum Secretariat, together with the Advisory Board, will set the work plan for the European Blue Forum over the next 12 to 18 months. We encourage you all to engage with workshops and feedback opportunities over the next months to ensure that firstly your views are captured within the stakeholder position papers, but also that you have the opportunity to influence the structure and direction of the European Blue Forum and through this, the future of Europe’s Sustainable Blue Economy.

For anyone that has not yet seen the briefing paper prepared for the launch of the European Blue Forum, we encourage you to read it here: 

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News Posted on 27/06/2023