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Oceans and fisheries

Sustainable blue economy

A new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU.

The European Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe will define the European economy for many years, or even decades. And the EU’s blue economy is fundamental to both efforts. Not only should the blue economy adhere, like every other sector, to the European Green Deal. It is also indispensable to meet the EU’s environmental and climate objectives. After all, the ocean is the main climate regulator we have. It offers clean energy and sustains us with oxygen, food, and many critical resources. There just can’t be green without blue.

To fully embed the blue economy into the Green Deal and the recovery strategy, the Commission has adopted a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU.


The detailed agenda for the blue economy should help achieve the European Green Deal’s objectives, and complement other recent Commission initiatives on biodiversity, food, mobility, security, data and more.

For example

  • the blue economy contributes to climate change mitigation by developing offshore renewable energy, decarbonizing maritime transport and greening ports
  • it will make the economy more circular by renewing the standards for fishing gear design, for ship recycling and for the decommissioning of offshore platforms
  • developing green infrastructure in coastal areas will help preserve biodiversity and landscapes, while benefitting tourism and the coastal economy


Rather than an exhaustive action plan, the new approach provides coherence across the blue economy sectors, facilitates their coexistence and looks for synergies in the maritime space, without damaging the environment. It also underlines the need for investment in research, skills and innovation.


17 MAY 2021
Putting the Blue into the Green


  1. May 2021
    A new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU, Transforming the EU's blue economy for a sustainable future
  2. 2014
    Innovation in the blue economy: realising the potential of our seas and oceans for jobs and growth
  3. 2012
    Blue growth – opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth
  4. 2007
    An integrated maritime policy for the European Union
  5. 2005
    STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 2005 – 2009 Europe 2010: A Partnership for European Renewal Prosperity, Solidarity and Security