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The EU Blue Economy Report 2020.


In its third edition, the EU Blue Economy Report continues to analyse the scope and size of the Blue Economy in the European Union. It aims at providing support to policymakers and stakeholders in the quest for a sustainable development of oceans, coastal resources and, most notably, to the development and implementation of polices and initiatives under the European Green Deal in line with the new approach for a sustainable Blue Economy.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What elements have an impact on the Blue Economy?
  • What are the results of analyses of the established and emerging Blue Economy sectors in the EU?
  • What are the results of analyses of the Blue Economy by sector and industry for each EU Member State?

Implementation Context: 

This Report was drafted by the European Commission Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and the Joint Research Centre.

Aspects / Objectives: 

This Report intends to serve as a useful input to assessing the potential of oceans and coasts for shifting to more sustainable economy and to supporting the development of policies in line with the strategic approach for a sustainable Blue Economy at all levels of governance.


The analysis of Blue Economy sectors is based on the data collected by the European Commission through Member States and the European Statistical System. Fisheries and aquaculture data were collected under the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF). Analyses for all other established sectors are based on Eurostat data from Structural Business Statistics (SBS), PRODCOM, National Accounts and tourism statistics. 

Main Outputs / Results: 

The Report comprises an overview of the EU Blue Economy for each sea basin, providing more figures than past editions.  Analyses are provided for the EU as a whole and by sector and industry for each Member State. The third edition of the Report seeks to include new elements, which have an impact on the Blue Economy, including challenges like climate change, new sectors such as Submarine cables), enablers such as Maritime Spatial Planning, new areas of analysis such as Ecosystem Services or potential solutions like Multipurpose platforms. Section 2.2.3 on Maritime Spatial Planning provides an overview of MSP in the EU and at a global level. It points out the underlined goals of planning the use of maritime space and highlights the elements and aspects to be taken into account by the Member States in elaboration of the MSP plans. Chapter 3 provides projections and cost-benefit assessment methodology that can assist managers and stakeholders involved in the maritime spatial planning policies. Section 8.1 provides information on the sea basin strategies related to MSP.


Projections, methodological frameworks and recommendations provided in this report can be applied in MSP processes at a global level.

Responsible Entity: 

European Commission

Costs / Funding Source: 

European Commission.

Contact person: 

Jann Martinsohn and Frangiscos Nikolian.