Maritime policy objectives during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU

Valtioneuvoston kanslia 20.9.2019 12.10 | Published in English on 23.9.2019 at 19.00
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The EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy plays a key role in building a sustainable future for Europe. As the Presidency and in international forums, Finland aims to actively influence the international management, protection and sustainable use of seas and oceans. The aim is also to draw up Council conclusions that would define the EU’s common guidelines for maritime policy priorities.

The last time the Council prepared maritime policy conclusions was in 2017, when they focused on issues related to blue growth. This time, the aim is that the conclusions will at least address the link between climate change and the oceans, issues related to a sustainable blue economy and issues specific to the Arctic region. The EU’s maritime policy is discussed in the Friends of the Presidency Group on Integrated Maritime Policy, which is due to meet four times during Finland’s Presidency.

Why are marine environmental health and the Integrated Maritime Policy measures to keep the marine environment in good condition so important? The oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, and marine ecosystems create the conditions for numerous economic and environmental services that are vital to humans. However, there is increasing pressure on the seas. For example, the warming of the seas and the melting of sea ice due to climate change, increased acidification, littering, biodiversity loss, eutrophication and overfishing are all threats that require concrete global collaboration. Finland wants to be involved in building this cooperation with a view to promoting the sustainable development of our seas and oceans.

Inquiries: Jussi Soramäki, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 754 1898, and Nina Brander, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 823 8492, Prime Minister’s Office