ASCAME co-organised the Blue Growth and Green Growth Communities joint event in Brussels

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The joint event “Transition towards blue and green economies in the Mediterranean” was organised by both the Blue Growth and the Green Growth Communities Interreg Med on the 19 and 20 September 2019 in Brussels, with the collaboration of ASCAME as member of the Consortium in charge of the Blue Growth Community. An event were participants where encouraged to get involved in Blue and Green Economies sectors and several synergies among Mediterranean projects funded by EU programmes were created.

The 2-day event held in Brussels gathered about 150 members of both communities together with a wide diversity of institutional and private sector stakeholders, such as: European Institutions, academia, NGOs, Public Authorities and thematic communities of projects in order to exchange, strengthen the links for future cooperation and tackle the important topic of ensuring capitalisation and transferring of results beyond projects implementation. Certainly, the “Transition towards blue and green economies in the Mediterranean” has represented a significant milestone as it marked the end of the first implementation period and bridges to the upcoming one.

Different sessions were held on both days, which showed a collaborative and interactive approach and a high level of engagement and interest on reaching more ambitious results on next stages, as well as the aim of building stronger cooperation among projects, communities and regions.

On the first day, the “EU Green deal” was introduced and the need for new approaches reinforcing innovation, circular economy practices and blue & green business models was highlighted. The key role of territorial cooperation for sustainable development was also stressed out. At the time of talking about Blue Economy, reference was made to the overall cooperation promoted between Mediterranean countries and the existence of a structured dialogue which led to the establishment of a “Blue economy working group”.

The second session of the first day addressed to fostering business innovation and access to finance, examples that were relevant because SMEs and clusters were presented as the backbone of the EU.  In addition, the need for standardised financial rules, taxonomy at EU level, reduction of bureaucracy and more capacity building were some of the initiatives referred to as drivers for growth.

Education and awareness-raising to and for sustainability were the main subjects from the third session and finally, during the last session of the day addressed to policy recommendations for a green and blue economy in the Mediterranean, the need for trans-boundary and cross-sectorial cooperation for policy change was encouraged through co-creation and co-responsibility for the elaboration of effective policy recommendations.

The Green and Blue Growth communities are two of the 8 thematic communities which support the implementation of the Interreg Med strategy with their networks of 14 projects working on sound and innovative management of natural resources and 6 projects working on sustainable blue economy matters respectively. Both innovative communities have been launched 3 years ago.

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