Manifesto for a European Ocean

In the run-up to the 2024 European elections, Oceano Azul Foundation and Europe Jacques Delors have come together to develop, promote, and encourage the adoption of a European Ocean Pact with the support of a panel of distinguished personalities.

The future of the European ocean lies here.



Oceano Azul Foundation and Europe Jacques Delors have promoted the union of a group of prominent European personalities to develop a manifesto in defense of the adoption of a European Ocean Pact so that the next European Commission can outline a coherent political strategy based on ambitious actions to address environmental challenges and to seize the economic opportunities that the ocean offers to the European continent. This document, officially presented at the Our Ocean Conference, held in the city of Athens, Greece, was delivered to the European Parliament this Wednesday, April 17.

This year’s European elections constitute a crucial moment for the future of the ocean and, consequently, for the continent itself. The ocean sustains all life on Earth and provides Europe with dozens of essential services and opportunities that cover multiple aspects of our lives: climate regulation, biodiversity conservation, food security, innovation, employment, competitiveness, science, transportation, clean energy, tourism, data connectivity, peace, cooperation, and security, not to mention its aesthetic, spiritual, and cultural dimensions.

However, the health of the ocean is declining, and the European Union’s (EU) fragmented and isolated approach to maritime policy has not, to date, been designed to capitalise its true potential. Without an immediate, bold, and holistic commitment to the ocean, the EU risks losing its best ally in the transition to a sustainable, prosperous, and peaceful future.

Therefore, in the period leading up to the 2024 European elections, Europe Jacques Delors and Oceano Azul Foundation have developed and will promote a manifesto for the adoption of a European Ocean Pact. With the collaboration of a group of distinguished individuals, known for their experience in both European and ocean-related issues, this initiative aims to create political momentum for the adoption of an ambitious and positive European agenda for the ocean in the next legislature. To encourage the adoption of this pact, the manifesto is launched in defense of an approach that integrates opportunities for prosperity and social equity, environmental protection, and geostrategic dynamics.






To this end, the Manifesto for a European Ocean Pact establishes several concrete measures and objectives, such as:

⇒ Prioritise a sustainable, strong, and competitive European blue economy by leveraging the economic potential of existing sustainable ocean industries and promoting innovative, sustainable, and carbon-neutral blue economy sectors;

⇒ Protect and restore the ocean and waters to not only recover their natural capital and services, but also to enable the functioning of the oceanic system as a whole;

Combat pollution by committing to clean up European oceans and waters, reducing marine litter with binding measures, including regulations for industries, to prevent debris pollution, especially plastics, and combating marine pollution from other land-based sources, such as agricultural runoff or industrial and sewage discharges;

⇒ Build knowledge and awareness for ocean sustainability;

⇒ Strengthen ocean governance through renewed EU leadership in ocean and waters management, bolstering international cooperation and coordination, and adopting a new geostrategic approach to the ocean to build a sovereign, secure, and powerful.