The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup follows on from the Seas and Coastal Areas Intergroup launched in 2010.

Recent EU policies and initiatives related to maritime topics such as the Integrated Maritime Policy, the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning, the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Strategy for Blue Growth reflect the European Institutions’ awareness of the possibilities offered by the seas and oceans. These opportunities are one of the major drivers of economic growth of the European Union’s territories as long as they support sustainable development.

While the European Parliament continues to take action on maritime matters, the Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup works to ensure that Europe of the Sea remains a major, cross-cutting and well-identified issue. Such an approach allows issues to be addressed that relate to the marine environment, maritime industries, research, maritime transport, exploitation of living marine resources and European maritime and coastal areas in a specific and transversal way.

The Intergroup also has a strong Island component. It will therefore ensure that the European Union continues to take into account the specific issues faced by the Islands. The Intergroup also includes a geographic dimension to its work through the inclusion of a "sea basin" dimension.

Few words from the MEPs

Commissioner Sinkevičius discusses impact of COVID-19 crisis on EU maritime sectors with SEARICA Board

Brussels, 19 May 2020

Today, the Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup had the honour and pleasure to host an exchange of views between its Board Members and Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius.

The meeting, proposed by the Commissioner to address the SEArica Declaration on the Covid-19 crisis, marks the first step towards a strengthen collaboration between the Intergroup Members and the European Commission with the aim of ensuring that needs of the sector are met in the crisis and post-crisis context. “Seas and oceans, rivers and islands are more than ever at the heart of the strategic challenges facing the European Union” said MEP Tonino Picula, President of the Intergroup, “As Members of SEArica, we are supporting this message, and we are standing to promote a strong maritime dimension across the different EU policies”.

The Vice-Chairs of the Intergroup, each of them responsible for a particular policy issue and/or sea basin, stressed the difficult situation that coastal territories are facing and called on the European Commission for further urgent measures in support to a sustainable and timely recovery. The European Commission is due to publish a revised proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 and a EU Recovery Plan by the end of May.

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What is an Intergroup?

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup is one of the 27 Intergroups that were approved on 11 December 2019 by the Conference of Presidents for the 9th legislature of the European Parliament. Intergroups can be formed by MEPs from any political group and any parliamentary committee with a view to holding informal exchanges of views on particular issues and promoting contact between MEPs and civil society.

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup brings together more than 100 MEPs from 7 different political groups and 23 Member States.

Intergroups are not Parliament bodies and therefore may not express Parliament's opinion.

Intergroups are subject to internal rules adopted by the Conference of Presidents on 16 December 1999 (last updated on 11 September 2014), which set out the conditions under which intergroups may be established at the beginning of each parliamentary term and their operating rules.