The Working Group on Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy was created by the Intermediterranean Commission (IMC) of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) to support Mediterranean regional authorities’ efforts to improve the implementation of the EU regulations and Mediterranean agreements. It is one of four working groups created by the IMC. This working group focuses on specific themes related to maritime and transport policies, including Maritime Spatial Planning. The other CPMR-IMC policy Working Groups are: (i) Territorial cooperation and macro-regional strategies, (ii) Social and economic cohesion, (iii) Water and energy.
Questions this practice may help answer
- How Mediterranean coastal regions can cooperate to ensure a common and shared support to the implementation of IMP, including MSP?
- What type of governance framework can support such cooperation?
- What are the main actions that can be implemented at the Mediterranean basin level to ensure a coherent implementation of IMP and MSP?
- How can the sub-national government levels be better involved in the implementation of IMP, including MSP?
The Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy Working Group was created in 2014 by the Intermediterranean Commission (IMC) of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR). CPMR brings together a wide number of Regions from EUMember States and beyond, to favour of a more balanced development of the European territory. It operates both as a think tank and as a lobby for Regions. IMC was created in Andalusia in 1990 to express the shared interests of Mediterranean Regions in important European negotiations. It encompasses the issues raised in all the Regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea and it focuses on the enhancement of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and territorial cooperation, concentrating its efforts on four main pillars: Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy, Territorial cooperation and macro-regional strategies, Economic and social cohesion, Water and Energy. IMC is one of the six CPMR commissions, together with: Atlantic Arc, Balkan and Black Sea, Baltic Sea, Island and North Sea Commissions.
In this context, the Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy Working Group pursues the action previously initiated by the IMC, in line with the IMC joint work plan which is periodically reviewed in its contents and was created based on priorities and issues identified through discussions and progress achieved by IMC members. The IMC among its past achievements, contributed to the creation of the Bologna Charter initiative, a Policy Paper of Regions and local Administrations of the Mediterranean, which gave an important contribution to the MSP Directive formulation, about elements entailed in Art.8, focusing on the importance of sediments for coastal protection and sea bottom aggregates (off-shore sediment deposits) that was added in the final approved version among the prior elements to be considered for maritime spatial planning processes.
Aspects / Objectives
The main objective of the Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy Working Group is to continue the work begun from the perspective of maritime issues, on strengthening the integrated maritime approach and support the development of Blue Growth in the Mediterranean. Specific themes are covered by the Working Group’s action, including maritime spatial planning, with the objective of leading initiatives to foster the capitalisation of MSP related European projects in the Mediterranean. Further, the whole IMC, through the collaboration of its Working Groups aims to support the CPMR monitoring activity on the MSP Directive implementation in the regions within the Mediterranean basin.
IMC operates through four working groups (the Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy working group being one of them) and in turn, each working group is organised in different task forces, each focusing on specific topics or projects. The Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy Working Group includes three task forces accordingly to the current biannual (2017-2018) work plan:
- “Coordination board of the Bologna Charter” focusing on management and sustainable development of coastal areas, led by Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy);
- “Fisheries & Aquaculture” dealing with funding aspects related to the EMFF and reflections on the future of fisheries in the Mediterranean, led by Andalusia Region (Spain);
- “The follow up in the regions of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Blue Economy Agenda” covering the main aspects related to the implementation in the regions of the UfM works on blue economy, led by Lazio Region (Italy)
Further task forces could be activated on “Sustainable maritime transport and motorways of the sea”, “Climate mitigation” or other issues still to be identified (e.g. clean port approach and labelling).
Each task force is coordinated by a region having the responsibility to give dynamism to the related activities. Co-chairs (Murcia and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regions, coordination with the IMC Executive Secretariat, for the period 2017-2018) of the Working Group on Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy monitor the progress and the results of the task forces and ensure the work is developed in a coherent and coordinated framework.
Main Outputs / Results
The 2017-2018 work plan addresses specific actions under two main areas of work dealing with their respective issues and a third transversal area dealing with common issues:
- Support to initiatives for improving accessibility to the Mediterranean area and connections of its territories through the TEN-T (Trans-European Network - Transport);
- Support for developing an integrated maritime approach for Blue Growth in the Mediterranean;
- Transversal work area: monitoring the impacts common to maritime and transport/accessibility policies, promotion of land sea interactions in the sectoral priorities of the Mediterranean area, sustainable maritime transport, work on marine data and regions’ access to funds.
The Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy Working Group, together with the other IMC Working Groups, aims to capitalise the work (e.g. through dissemination events) of specific European projects with focus in the Mediterranean area. Some of these projects are relevant to MSP, such as:
- MAREMED, related to the Bologna Charter and the Joint Action Plan developed under COASTGAP;
- MarinaMed COM&CAP;
- The Western Mediterranean Maritime Initiative and its corresponding Framework for Action.
Monitoring activity specifically on the MSP Directive implementation in the regions within the Mediterranean basin is being developed mainly via the SIMWESTMED project at Western Mediterranean level. Within this project CPMR-IMC Working Group on Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy is in particular in charge to support the stakeholder assessment phase within the Western Mediterranean basin, providing an overview of the MSP relevant stakeholders in the regions within the study area.
The organisational structure and working approach of the Transport and Integrated Maritime Policy Working Group of CPMR-IMC might represent a reproducible example for the creation of other bodies having a coordinative role in the addressment of maritime issues at regional level and the effective implementation of the MSP Directive on transboundary marine areas outside the Mediterranean.
CPMR Intermediterranean Commission
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Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR)