The seas are the foundation of all life on our planet and play a vital role in safeguarding some of our most basic needs. They provide us with essential resources and ecosystem services, such as oxygen, food, water, energy, connectivity, temperature regulation and biodiversity. However, marine ecosystems are complex and fragile. Caring for the health and productivity of our seas and oceans is a herculean task, demanding concerted efforts and consistent action at all levels. 
At the same time, our seas have a key role to play in contributing to the economic prosperity of nations. A healthy marine environment not only supports economic resilience, improved livelihoods, social inclusion and wellbeing, but it is also vital in tackling the global climate and biodiversity crises.
What is the Sustainable Blue Economy?
The term Sustainable Blue Economy emerged from the recognition that the environment and the economy are intrinsically linked, especially in the maritime sectors. As such, the Sustainable Blue Economy is considered as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystems for future generations.
It encompasses all industries and sectors related to ocean, seas and coasts, whether they are based in the marine environment (e.g., shipping, fisheries, energy generation) or on land (e.g., ports, shipyards, land-based aquaculture and coastal tourism). Alongside traditional sectors, innovative sectors are evolving and growing, such as ocean renewable energy, the blue bio-economy, bio-technology and desalination, which bring new opportunities for investment and hold large potential for the future development of coastal communities. 
It promotes a balance between economic growth, social well-being, and environmental sustainability. The concept recognizes that the oceans are interconnected and that the sustainable use and management of marine resources require collaboration and cooperation among various stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, and local communities.
The establishment of a European Blue Forum
As part of its Communication to the European Parliament on ‘a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU – Transforming the EU’s Blue Economy for a Sustainable Future’, the European Commission recognised that:
In an effort to create a mechanism to unite all stakeholders, the Commission announced the
What is the European Blue Forum?
The European Blue Forum is intended to be a pan-European Stakeholder group, able to come together to discuss shared challenges and priorities over the medium term with the aim of finding consensus, synergies and solutions towards a common vision.
However more than this, it should be a ‘safe’ moderated space for all users of the sea, to identify innovative solutions to deliver bold and ambitious change, bringing real benefits to people and communities throughout Europe.
As such, the European Blue Forum is structured around the following key principles.
The European Blue Forum is intended to be fully representative of the European Sustainable Blue Economy. It will give opportunities to often underrepresented stakeholder groups, as well as new and emerging sectors, to express the challenges they face and explore possible solutions and synergies alongside more established sectors.
What are the objectives of the European blue Forum?
Creating a Blue Forum for all users of the sea will bring many benefits:
- Collaboration: The European Blue Forum will facilitate collaboration among various stakeholders, including governments, private sector, civil society, and local communities. It will bring together diverse perspectives and expertise to address common challenges and find solutions for sustainable ocean use and management.
- Knowledge sharing: The Blue Forum will serve as a platform for sharing information, best practices, and lessons learned among different ocean users. It will promote capacity building and the transfer of knowledge and technology to support sustainable development.
- Policy coherence: The Blue Forum can contribute to policy coherence and coordination among different sectors and levels of governance. It can help further align European, national, regional and local policies and strategies with international commitments, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
- Facilitate the interactions between sea users: The Blue Forum aims at fostering a better coexistence of all ocean users. It will provide a space for dialogue to manage competing uses of the sea and its resources.
- Empowerment: The Blue Forum can empower local communities, particularly those who rely on the oceans for their livelihoods, to participate in cross-sectoral dialogue on what affect their lives and well-being.
The European Blue Forum will promote collaboration, knowledge sharing, policy coherence, conflict prevention and resolution, and empowerment, among other benefits. It can help advance sustainable ocean use and management for the benefit of all ocean users and future generations.
Why to get involved?
As a part of the European Blue Forum, we are creating a community of different users of the sea passionate and committed to working together to achieve bold and tangible results in terms of nature protection and the fight against climate change.
As part of the Forum, stakeholders will have the opportunity to influence the structure and direction of the European Blue Forum in a balanced and inclusive way, and through this, the future of Europe’s Sustainable Blue Economy.
Members of the European Blue Forum will be invited to participate in dedicated meetings and workshops, as well as be given the opportunity to create dedicated Action Groups. These groups, with the support of the European Blue Forum Secretariat, will collaboratively work towards finding solutions to the biggest challenges facing our Sustainable Blue Economy Community and deliver collective impact.
Be part of the conversation and let’s find the solutions together….
If you wish to contact our team please send us an email at: europeanblueforum [at] maritime-spatial-planning.ec.europa.eu
EU Blue Economy includes all sectoral and cross-sectoral economic activities based on or related to the oceans, seas and coasts: Marine-based activities and Marine-related activities.
Dive into data and charts that show the economic indicators used for the established sectors in the EU Blue Economy report