The EU’s Blue economy generates 5.4 million jobs and gross value added reaching almost 500 billion euros annually. Therefore, according to the European Commission, it will be one of the prioritized areas of the European economy in the coming years. Most notably due to the fact that, according to the estimates, by 2020 the number of employees in that sector will reach even 7 million. Experts estimate that for every job at a port or a shipyard there are 25 jobs in the national economy. It should also be noted that 75% of the European external trade and 37% of the internal trade in the European Union is conducted using maritime transport.
The Blue growth program, that is a long-term strategy for supporting balanced growth in the whole maritime sector, implemented in an environmentally and economically sound way, is intended to help with the growth of the maritime industry. It emphasizes the fact that seas and oceans create a driving force for the European economy and indicate major potential within the scope of innovation and growth. It helps to implement the goals of the “Europe 2020” strategy for intelligent, permanent and socially inclusive economic growth, within the area of the integrated maritime policy of the EU.
The strategy comprises of three parts involving: special means concerning the integrated maritime policy (marine knowledge, marine spatial planning, integrated marine surveillance), strategies for specific sea basins intended to ensure proper funding for promotion of balanced growth, taking into account the local environmental, oceanographic, economic, cultural and social factors and a targeted approach in some areas (such as: aquaculture, tourism, biotechnology, energy generation and deep sea mining). It is significant insofar as that specific sectors of the blue economy are interdependent. They utilize common skills and infrastructure, such as ports or electricity distribution networks.
If we take a closer look at the Polish maritime economy, we will discover that the sector employs around 90 thousand people, with around 12 thousand companies and a combined revenue reaching 25 billion zlotys. The activities of prosperous companies of the maritime industry are often characterized by a high level of innovation. They are among the most widely recognized Polish enterprises around the world. Our shipyards build, among others, the most technologically advanced units for wind farms and ships powered by electricity or gas, which are unique on the global scale.
Mr. Iain Shepherd, the representative of DG MARE, will tell us more about the EU policy on the Blue economy during the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia 2017.
Article developed in cooperation with "Namiary na Morze i Handel" magazine.
phot. Tadeusz Urbaniak/ZMPG-a S.A