Sea tourism has always been a significant part of the tourism industry as well as an engine of growth, innovation and extroversion for the coastal countries. Certain aspects of globalisation, such as the liberalisation of transport and communication along with the digital revolution and the increased interest in travelling abroad have favoured the sector, resulting in new, innovative services and infrastructures. On the other side, the aftermath of the last global recession, fears of a new recession, tight government budgets and the ageing of population have raised new concerns and challenges. In times of environmental crisis, the sustainability issue is of critical importance; enhancing environmental awareness is not just a necessity but also an opportunity.
Within this context, The Economist’s Sea Tourism Summit entitled “Navigating a sea of opportunities” is organised on 17th January in Düsseldorf. Distinguished leaders from government, politics and business, as well as prominent officials from the EU and the international institutions will take part in this stimulating dialogue covering a wide range of issues related to sea tourism.
EBI is a proud sponsor of The Economist’s Sea Tourism Summit. More information and registration here.
Speakers have been announced for the 2020 edition of the International Breakfast Meeting (IBM) featuring the topic of sustainable boating. They include the European Commission, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs from the fields of hydrogen, digitalisation, electric and hybrid. IBM is organised by boot Düsseldorf, the world’s largest boat show and EBI, the voice of Europe’s recreational boating industry.
Growing to over 150 participants in 2019, the conference will provide high-level discussions and thought leadership on the issue of decarbonisation. IBM 2020 takes take place on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 from 8:30 until 10:30 in the Congress Center East at boot Düsseldorf.
The following speakers have been confirmed
As part of the European Commission’s BlueInvest Platform, the Readiness Assistance offers a coaching programme for high potential start-ups and SMEs with innovative and sustainable products and solutions for the Blue Economy. Businesses and projects selected for Investment Readiness Assistance will receive coaching packages tailored specifically to their readiness levels and business objectives. The programme has a clear focus on providing business support to help start-ups and SMEs build capacities for growth and attract investment. Up to 200 businesses will be selected to receive coaching tailored specifically to their business objectives. Each participant will be matched with a dedicated business coach, whom they will work with to develop a set of concrete business objectives. Participants will receive targeted assistance from their business coach, who will work with them to achieve their set objectives within a defined timeframe. The one-to-one coaching sessions will be conducted over a 3-month period, both in-person as well as digitally.
Participants will also benefit from additional training through participant-only sessions organised at the BlueInvest Academy, networking and B2B matchmaking sessions at the BlueInvest events. A competitive selection process will be used to select the best candidates for the BlueInvest Readiness Assistance.
For more information and the application form, please click here.
Deadline: 27 February 2020
Through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the European Commission is providing grants to market- and investment-ready SMEs with innovative products, technologies and services for the blue economy.
The 2019 call is open until 27 February 2020. It has an available budget of EUR 22.5 million. Organisations can get between €700,000 and €2,500,000 for their projects. Any for-profit SME based in the EU can apply, either as a single participant or a member of a consortium. EBI is available to support interested EBI member companies in the process.
For further information and how to apply, please click here.
The objective of the Blue Generation Project is to inspire and engage young people between 15 and 29 years to pursue a sustainable career in the Blue Economy (coastal tourism, aquaculture, ocean energy, marine biotechnology, shipbuilding, maritime transport and fisheries). EBI is providing input to various aspects of the project, in particular the development of the online version of a blue career guide and the massive open online course (MOOC). The PDF version of the Blue Generation guide can be found here.
More information about the project can be found here.
The project looks at the blue economy and marine conservation to safeguard Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to achieve good environmental status. The recommendations will be provided to public authorities, in particular those in charge of managing MPAs.
Industry4Europe, a coalition of 149 sector Associations, including European Boating Industry (EBI) representing the diversity of the EU’s industrial base, published its new Joint Paper ‘A long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future: from words to action’. Through cross-sectoral recommendations, the Industry4Europe coalition contributes to the future EU industrial strategy announced by European Commission President-Elect Ursula von der Leyen.
The Joint Paper presents concrete industrial policy proposals in seven priority fields; business-friendly policy environment, sustainability at business core, upgraded skills and training, enhanced research and innovation, investment and improved access to finance, reinforcement of the European Single Market and strengthened trade and international market access.
The 149 industry organisations behind Industry4Europe stand united in their repeated calls for an ambitious and long-term EU industrial strategy that must help Europe remain a hub for a leading, smart, innovative and sustainable industry, that provides quality jobs and benefits all Europeans and future generations.
“With its skilled workforce and its global reputation for quality and sustainability, our industry is vital for Europe and its prosperity”, said Philippe Citroën, Coordinator of the Industry4Europe Coalition. “The European Union needs an ambitious industrial strategy now to compete with other global regions that have already put industry at the very top of their political agenda. It is essential for a horizonal, coherent and focused industrial policy to support the backbone of the European economy and which protects citizens and the global environment”.
European Commission President-Elect von der Leyen has said clearly in her Political Guidelines for the upcoming mandate that she would, “put forward my plan for a future-ready economy, our new industrial strategy”. The Industry4Europe coalition welcomes this ambition and hopes that its explicit policy recommendations will find a central place in any comprehensive long-term industrial strategy that comes out of the EU institutions.
The Industry4Europe coalition therefore looks forward to working with all policymakers – notably the designated Executive Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner Thierry Breton – to discuss and implement such an ambitious and much-needed EU industrial strategy.
Industry4Europe is an extensive and unprecedented coalition of sectoral Associations dedicated to campaigning for an ambitious EU industrial strategy. With 149 European industry Associations spanning Europe’s economy, Industry4Europe is helping to set the vision for the long-term future of the EU’s industrial strategy. European Boating Industry (EBI) is a proud member of the coalition.
For more information: www.industry4europe.eu
European Boating Industry (EBI), the voice of the recreational boating industry celebrated its 10-year anniversary in early November. Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and leaders of the European recreational boating sector gathered in Brussels for high-level discussions, setting a vision for the next decade. Strengthening the EU’s Single Market, de-escalating the EU-US trade war, harmonising qualifications, tackling environmental challenges and strengthening European industrial excellence are the key priorities.
The high-profile event celebrating the anniversary of the 2009 founding of the European Boating Industry (EBI) took place at the Representation of the Region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine to the EU. The recreational boating industry is central to the development of many maritime and coastal regions.
Opening the anniversary, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant remarked “Our anniversary is a great time to look back at EBI’s achievements and celebrate ten years of advocacy for our sector. It is also an opportunity to emphasise the importance of our sector as an economic actor for the EU. Our members, many of them SMEs, provide tens of thousands of jobs and are often the backbone of local communities and economies. As EBI, we will work to strengthen them and our sector through a truly European approach in close collaboration with the EU institutions and our stakeholders.
Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament) opened the event with an introductory statement highlighting the positive impact of the recreational boating industry in Europe and Italy, as well as its relevance for the EU institutions. Moderated by prominent journalist Jennifer Baker, the debate brought together Felix Leinemann (European Commission, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries), Mirna Cieniewicz (Groupe Beneteau), Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament), Sebastian Nietupski (POLBOAT) and Dr. Anne-Cécile Dragon (WWF European Policy Office).
Topics taking centre-stage were the de-escalation of the EU-US trade war harming the sector, strengthening the EU’s Single Market for the boating industry, harmonisation of qualifications to address skills and workforce shortages, the circular economy and the development of an environmentally friendly industry.
Following the event, EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “We are committed to strengthening our work with the EU institutions, our members and stakeholders in order to contribute to common challenges at European level. We look forward to advancing discussions around trade, environment, circular economy, skills and the Single Market in our second decade. Getting economic and environmental sustainability right is crucial for our sector to grow, provide jobs and further develop. Clean and healthy oceans and seas are the lifeblood of our industry.”
Quotes from the panelists
Felix Leinemann (Head of Unit, European Commission DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) - “In the context of the European Green Deal, we will need to balance growth in nautical tourism with sustainability. I appreciate EBI’s commitment to work with the Commission on several sustainability elements: climate change, circular economy, respect for the environment, and especially our cooperation towards developing a European concept for the recycling of end-of-life recreational craft”
Tiziana Beghin (Member of the European Parliament) – “The recreational boating industry is a key economic activity and employer for many regions across Europe, including the region of Liguria where I come from. Key for the industry is its export orientation where the EU has an overwhelmingly positive trade ratio. It is crucial for us as policy-makers to support this development and ensure that European companies can continue to grow by removing tariffs and trade barriers.”
Sebastian Nietupski (President, POLBOAT) - “One of the major challenges for our industry is that customers are getting older and younger generations have a different approach. As is happening with cars, bikes and houses, sharing is becoming the new norm and the same is true for boating. The sharing economy has the benefit to make boating even more accessible, but it forces producers to adapt their strategy in a new and wider way. A boat will not just be a boat - it will be a full-service package including financing and maintenance. This shift from product to service will be crucial for the EU to take into account when looking at its future industrial policy and extending the Single Market.”
Mirna Cieniewicz (Director, Groupe Beneteau) - “Being sustainable is no longer a question, it is just about how to get there. Life-cycle assessment, eco-design, advanced production processes and materials are all areas to be investigated. We need more of this together with the support from the EU institutions to ensure progress is made across all the Single Market for the boats and their equipment. Having contributed to the creation of European Boating Industry as first-ever Secretary-General ten years ago and now working for Europe’s largest boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau, I am delighted to participate in these discussions at a European level within EBI”
Bogusław Liberadzki (Member of the European Parliament) - “The boating industry has a positive economic impact for Europe as I have clearly seen at the example of my own country Poland. As Member of the European Parliament, my vision for the coming years is to support and develop the boating industry and ensure it can thrive and grow across Europe. Ensuring coherence between sustainability and providing the basis for growth is the duty of the European Parliament and all EU institutions”
Dr Anne-Cécile Dragon (Policy Officer, WWF EU) - “The coming years are crucial to protect our ocean and the resource base on which a sustainable Blue growth depends. Integrated maritime policies, sustainable financial and investment flows, as well as ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning are all important means to ensure an environmentally sustainable development of blue economy. WWF looks forward to working with the EU institutions and stakeholders, such as the European Boating Industry to make this a reality”
The European Commission published recommendations by a group of experts, the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest, to boost Europe's competitiveness and global leadership in six strategic and future-oriented industrial sectors: Connected, clean and autonomous vehicles; Hydrogen technologies and systems; Smart health; Industrial Internet of Things; Low-carbon industry; and Cybersecurity.
Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) comprise innovative research projects that often entail significant risks and require joint, well-coordinated efforts and transnational investments by public authorities and industries from several Member States. The aim is to invest jointly in Europe's industrial strengths and assets to generate jobs and growth across sectors and regions and strengthen the EU’s role on the global stage. In addition to recommendations specific to each of the value chains, the report also identifies horizontal enabling actions:
The report is part of the Juncker Commission's efforts to strengthen Europe's industrial base and will contribute to the next Commission's work on a new long-term strategy for Europe's industrial future.
For more on this initiative, please see the factsheet and the full report.
The European Commission published its proposal for an EU-US agreement on conformity assessment for industrial products. A product exported between the two sides has to undergo an assessment to demonstrate that it complies with the technical and safety requirements of the importing party, the 'conformity assessment'. This means additional costs for exporters, which is especially burdensome for smaller companies, who may decide not to export at all because of those costs and complexities.
The EU proposal seeks an agreement under which the EU and the US would accept the conformity assessment results of each other’s assessment bodies, certifying products against the legal requirement of the other side. This would enable exporters to seek certification of their products in their originating country. The aim of the proposal is to make trade quicker, easier and cheaper, while maintaining a high level of consumer safety. The EU’s aim is to conclude an agreement as early as next year.
The proposal is horizontal and covers all relevant industrial sectors where third-party conformity assessment is required by either side. Below a selection of the sectors to be covered (full scope is included in the Annex):
Please note that marine equipment is excluded from the scope of the proposal as it is covered by an existing mutual recognition agreement.
EBI has been following this process since the start and has now increased its engagement with the European Commission and US counterparts to advocate for the interest of the recreational boating industry. EBI is closely cooperating with its international counterparts ICOMIA and US counterparts NMMA to ensure that the global recreational boating industry benefits from this agreement. Interested parties are invited to contact the EBI Office for further information and input.