EC's Damanaki: We want to have 7 million jobs in sea sector by 2020

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The European agenda stipulates seven million jobs in the sea sector by 2020 by developing the partnership in the Black Sea region, said European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki.

'Our agenda is to generate growth in the region, to create new jobs, to exploit the potential of the Black Sea. Currently we have 5.5 million jobs in the European sea sector. If things evolve as we have planned, in 2020 we shall have 7 million jobs in this sector. This is why I am here, to promote this proposal,' said Mrs Damanaki in the opening of the conference titled 'The Sustained Development of the Black Sea Blue Economy. Stepping up the Marine and Maritime Cooperation.'

The European official said that it was important that all European institutions should take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Blue Growth Agenda established by the European Commission.

'We make this a priority of our six-month presidency. We have a good experience in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Atlantic Ocean and now we have to cooperate with our member states in the Black Sea, with our neighbours around the Black Sea. We are at the very profitable time of creating a new strategy for the Black Sea. We want to work in the existing structures. We have the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, but what matters is the fact that we have all discussion partners by our side. Besides the governmental structures it is important that we should have investors, scientists at the table. We are trying to motivate all these people to cooperate with us in concrete projects, with a view to consolidating the economy in the Black Sea area. This is our aim. The EU invested 140 million euros in the Black Sea initiative, starting in 2008, a sum of money to which 1.2 billion euros will be added as part of this partnership. Therefore, it is not only the member states, but also the Black Sea neighbouring countries that will have advantages from these financing facilities and from the instruments by means of which our projects will be developed,' said the European Commissioner.

Maria Damanaki explained that there were two stages of the project specially created for the Black Sea: continuation of investments in the most profitable fields and creation of clusters in tourism, transports, environment protection.

'I cannot make now an appreciation of the results of the agenda, but the preliminary data show that tourism and aquaculture have much potential and are fields in which we can invest,' said the European Commissioner.

The European Commission and the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry organize in the Romanian capital, on Thursday, the conference of the concerned parties in 'The Sustainable Development of the Black Sea Blue Economy. Stepping up the Marine and Maritime Cooperation,' an event to be attended by European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki and Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean, the ministry said in a release to Agerpres.

The conference gathers public and private figures of all the Black Sea states, namely Bulgaria, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. AGERPRES

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