• 19 May, 2021
Consultation - Towards a strong and sustainable EU alga...

The European Commission has launched an open public consultation on the EU algae initiative.

The EU algae initiative, planned for 2022, aims to increase sustainable production of algae and algae-based products, ensure their safe consumption and boost their innovative use in the European Union.

With the consultation, the Commission wants to collect facts and opinions about current challenges related to algae production and consumption as well as ways to resolve them.

The consultation runs until 11 August and is targeted at EU citizens as well as all relevant stakeholder groups, including industry, NGOs, public authorities, civil society, research and academia.

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  • 18 May, 2021
Boost investment in the sustainable blue economy: Commi...

Following the communication on Sustainable Blue Economy, the Commission and the European Investment Bank Group, composed of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), are announcing an increased cooperation to implement the new blue economy strategy. Both institutions will work together with Member States to meet existing financing needs in order to reduce pollution in European seas, with particular focus on circular economy approaches, and support investment for blue innovation and blue bioeconomy.

The European Commission and the EIB will carry out a comprehensive market study and identify projects worthy of investment for pollution avoidance and reduction, such as, biodegradability, recycling and re-use along the entire plastic value chain. They will also prepare a framework to stimulate investments in innovation linked to the oceans and seas, and to implement the Farm to Fork and bioeconomy strategies. The EIF and the Commission will jointly develop solutions for equity and guarantee funding. This will provide Member States' Managing Authorities with ways of matching their national resources with funding from relevant European funds, in particular the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) through financial instruments and blending operations. The EIF is managing the BlueInvest Fund and is financing businesses in the blue economy sector via equity funds selected earlier this year. More information is in the news release.

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  • 17 May, 2021
European Green Deal: Commission adopts strategic guidel...

The Commission adopted new strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture. The guidelines offer a common vision for the Commission, Member States and stakeholders to develop the sector in a way that contributes directly to the European Green Deal andin particular the Farm to Fork Strategy. The guidelines will help the EU aquaculture sector become more competitive and resilient, and to improve its environmental and climate performance.

The guidelines have been prepared in close consultation with EU Member States and stakeholders, notably those represented in the Aquaculture Advisory Council. They set four inter-related objectives for the further development of aquaculture in the Union:

  1. building resilience and competitiveness
  2. participating in the green transition
  3. ensuring social acceptance and consumer information, and
  4. increasing knowledge and innovation

The proposed guidelines will also support the substantial increase in organic aquaculture at EU level.  As noted in the recently published Organic Farming Action Plan, organic aquaculture production remains a relatively new sector but with a significant potential for growth.

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  • 17 May, 2021
A new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU...

The new sustainable Blue Economy Strategy is out ! 

In the Framework of the EU Green Deal, the shift from Blue Growth towards Sustainable Blue Economy is of great importance.

As the Oceans are key to help regulate the Climate, we need to rethink our approach of all the activities deriving from it!

Find out more about the new approach and proposed actions here!

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  • 11 May, 2021
New report: EU’s performance on the UN sustainable deve...

The Von der Leyen Commission has made the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 an integral part of the EU’s political priorities. One of them (SDG 14, ‘Life under water’) is about conserving and sustainably using the oceans and seas. It is at the core of the EU international ocean governance agenda.

Today, the Commission releases a comprehensive assessment of the contribution of EU and its Member States to achieving SDG 14. This study is the first of its kind. It  looks both at quantitative indicators as well as at the quality of progress achieved.

The EU has established a significant ‘SDG 14 toolbox’. It contains nearly 600 policy tools (170 at EU level and 417 at national level) that together form a coherent framework. The efficiency of this policy framework is furthermore backed up by considerable financial investments from the EU and its Member States, for example to strengthen ocean knowledge. On this basis, the EU and its Member States are taking strong action to improve the state of the marine environment and can look back at a number of achievements. This includes the restoration of certain fish stocks and the establishment of marine protected areas.

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  • 29 Apr, 2021
Webinar on Underwater Cultural Heritage and Exploration...

On 13th of April and under the Turkish Coordination of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Back Sea, took place a Webinar on Underwater Cultural Heritage and Exploration of Potential Sites in the Black Sea.

It was a good opportunity to share views on the topic in particular to consider how some project ideas could be developed supporting the CMA in particular its Goal II by fostering knowledge on underwater  heritage  to improve its protection but also its promotion by tourism in the Black Sea.

It gave views on the implementation of pilot projects, the measures on which CMA countries could consider as potential axis of collaboration in the Black Sea and beyond.

Below you can find the presentations of the main speakers:

- Ms. Larisa Danilova, Scientific and Research Institute of Maritime Spatial Planning Ermak NorthWest, Russian Federation - Experience from the project “Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme BalticRIM” and Relevant Ideas for the Black Sea.

- Dr. Nayden Prahov, National Archaeological Institute with Museum, BulgarianAcademy of Sciences, Bulgaria - Experience from the project ‘Underwater Archaeology Field School in the Black Sea’ 

- Mr. Glicherie Caraivan, Ph.D., National Institute for Research and Development of MarineGeology and Geoecology (GeoEcomar), Romania - Experience from the project ‘Western Black Sea Underwater CulturalTourist Routes’

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  • 21 Apr, 2021
Sustainability criteria for the blue economy

The blue economy is a pivotal component of global economies. There is international consensus that the blue economy boosts employment and innovation, and offers significant opportunities for economic development and investment, including to local communities. The current output of the global blue economy, worth USD 1.5 trillion, is expected to double by 2030. In addition to its potential to drive significant economic and socio economic development, the blue economy can play a central role in alleviating the pressures on land resources and fostering climate change mitigation and adaptation. In this context, the need to develop and promote sustainable blue economy activities has become critical, based on a common understanding at the international level of the activities and practices that contribute to it. This study is a step towards the establishment of such a common understanding by developing a set of criteria to assess the sustainability of blue economy activities. The outcome of this study is an outline of a Blue Economy Sustainability Framework, which provides a preliminary set of sustainability criteria and indicators across various blue economy sectors. Additional input from stakeholders would be essential to further develop and refine the Framework.

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  • 20 Apr, 2021
EU International Ocean Governance Forum 2021: Setting t...

On behalf of the European Commission and the European External Action Service to the third conference of the IOG Forum held virtually under the headline “Setting the Course for a Sustainable Blue Planet”, 20 April 2021.

The “recommendations document for enhancing EU action” presented during the event can be downloaded here.


If you have not been able to attend all sessions, or if you would like to inform interested colleagues about the conference, please find here the video stream recording.


Do stay connected to the IOG Forum activities (#IOGForum, #OceanEU and website).


Kind regards and stay healthy

The IOG Forum Team

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  • 20 Apr, 2021
11th International Black Sea Symposium on "A collective...

The International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) successfully hosted its 11th International Black Sea Symposium, on “A collective recovery for the Black Sea Region in the post-covid era”, on 20 April 2021. The 11th IBSS aimed to offer a platform for dialogue among stakeholders to discuss challenges for, and best practices of national and regional response to the pandemic since the covid-19 outbreak, as well as to exchange views on opportunities and synergies for a sustainable socioeconomic plan for a collective recovery in the Black Sea region.

For further information and speakers' presentations, click here.

Watch the video here.




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  • 12 Apr, 2021
Public consultation on sustainable fisheries agreements...

The Commission is launching an evaluation of the sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs). For that evaluation, the feedback from public is very important. Therefore, the Commission has launched a public consultation, so that  citizens and concerned stakeholders can give their views based on their experience and knowledge of SFPAs and their implementation. The public consultation can be found on the Have Your Say website.

The public is invited to reply to a questionnaire

Have your say!

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  • 09 Apr, 2021
New surveys reveal heightened concern about ocean pollu...

At the eighth annual World Ocean Summit, Yohei Sasakawa, chair of The Nippon Foundation, and Lord Deighton, chair of The Economist Group, signed a memorandum of understanding for Back to Blue, a three-year collaboration between the two organisations to contribute fresh analysis, dialogue and potential solutions around ocean pollution.

As part of Back to Blue, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in cooperation with the World Ocean Initiative and in association with The Nippon Foundation, conducted two surveys in December 2020/January 2021 to uncover consumers’ and executives’ understanding of issues facing the ocean. The consumer survey encompassed more than 3,000 people around the world, with one half from generation Z (born 1997 onwards) and millennials (1981-1996) and the other half from generation X (1965-80) and baby boomers (1946-64). The business survey covered more than 1,000 global executives from a variety of sectors, including finance, food (including fishing), beverages, travel (including shipping) and tourism, and energy.

Please find more information in the following link.

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  • 06 Apr, 2021
HEI INITIATIVE - Innovation Capacity Building for Highe...

HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education was launched by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and is led by EIT RawMaterials ‐ one of the EIT's Knowledge and Innovation Communities. It is part of the 2021–2027 EIT Strategy, and it aims to help higher education institutions to build the capacity to innovate and to teach innovation and entrepreneurship. More specifically, the initiative aims to encourage these institutions to look at their own practices and develop concrete actions to increase their impact on their ecosystems. 

As part of HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education, the EIT has announced a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.

Read our press release & factsheet

The call will fund 23 pilot projects to be implemented in 2021−2023. The total maximum budget per project is €1.2 million, broken down as follows: €400,000 for Phase 1 (July−December 2021) and €800,000 for Phase 2 (January 2022−July 2023).

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