Following its launch at the beginning of 2010, the Seas and Coastal Areas Intergroup is now celebrating the end its first mandate of existence. Since the European Commission launched its consultation on the creation of an Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) in 2007, the interest in launching a policy discussion in favor of the sea has grown significantly. The work achieved by the Intergroup has confirmed the need for a forum for open exchange in the European Parliament, for those MEPs interested in maritime affairs, to debate and to be kept informed, but above all a forum that would facilitate MEPS’ direct influence on legislation.
Through an intense programme of seminars, public hearings, the investment of approximately 40 Parliamentarians coming from 13 countries and with the valuable support of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR), the Seas and Coastal Areas Intergroup has made an undisputed contribution to the emergence and the updating of issues considered as priorities by our members. In particular, the issues of maritime security, conditions of the exploitation of offshore oil, protection of marine biodiversity, marine and maritime research, maritime industries, European coastguards and marine renewable energies.

Our aim has been to form as many links as possible between issues that up to now have been dealt with in a compartmentalized way. We have endeavored to treat these issues whilst bearing in mind key aspects: in particular employment, environment and health. We have also been careful to open up our discussions on each occasion to the range of stakeholders without being partisan, thereby paving the way for a constructive dialogue between actors from the institutions and those representing the economic sector and civil society.
The Intergroup’s initial objective of gaining recognition as a credible actor in Brussels in the maritime field and facilitating the emergence of key subjects on the Community’s agenda has been fulfilled. At our level, we want to push to see that law-makers are no longer fighting yesterday’s battles, but rather should be forward looking through the anticipation of problems, rather than suffering them a posteriori and taking emergency action.

Few words from the MEPs

In May, the mandate of the eighth European Parliament is coming to an end.


For SEARICA this term has been very successful. Initiatives of the Intergroup strengthened the maritime dimension of EU legislation and its Members organised about 50 events organised in the past four years. However, a few weeks remain, and The SEARICA Intergroup is looking forward to welcoming you to its last series of conferencesand events in this term:


On February 26, we have an event on Sustainable Seaweeds Aquaculture to present balanced and long-term recommendations for current seaweed aquaculture practices within the PEGASUS project.


On March 6 The Intergroup organises an event together with DG MARE to discuss economic benefits of MPAs.


On March 7, Members of SEARICA will meet with the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization.


On March 20, there will be a joint event by SEARICA and the H2020 funded projects ResponSEAble and MARINA to highlight the importance of Ocean Literacy.


Our final SEARICA conference will take place on April 9 during which we want to reflect on past maritime achievements and look at future challenges and their solutions.


Finally, we are also happy to announce that, on the initiative of SEARICA President Gesine Meissner, the European Parliament will hold a high-level conference on ‘OCEANS: The future of the Blue Planet’ on March 19, 2019 with the support of the SEARICA Intergroup.


We hope to see you soon!

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What is an Intergroup?

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup is one of the 28 Intergroups that were approved on 11 December 2014 by the Conference of Presidents. 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 to promoting contact between MEPs and civil society.

The Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup brings together more than 80 MEPs from six different political groups and from 19 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.