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A few words from the SEArica Chair 2019-2024

As an islander myself, it is with deep-rooted connection to the seas, rivers, islands, and coastal areas that I took over the chairmanship of SEArica when we successfully renewed the Intergroup in 2019. In this same year, the European Commission introduced the European Green Deal, marking a pivotal step in addressing climate and environmental challenges, while fostering a sustainable transition for the EU economy. From preservation and restoration goals, food self-sufficiency aspirations, to renewable energy targets, more than ever, seas, rivers, islands, and coastal areas have become a crucial cornerstone to achieve EU objectives.

In this transformative time for Europe, the SEArica Intergroup has further consolidated its role as an essential forum to address the untapped potential of oceans and seas for the sustainable development of Europe, and for the maritime dimension of EU policies and strategies and related territorial specificities. The Intergroup has allowed us, Members of the European Parliament, to sit regularly around the same table with representatives of key EU institutions, regions, representatives of the maritime sectors, researchers, and NGOs. Breaking down the siloes to address environmental and socio-economic challenges in EU Policy in consideration of maritime and sea-basin realities, SEArica has valuably nurtured our parliamentary activities, with a shared ambition to place the seas high on the EU agenda.

However, building the next generation of EU maritime policies remains a work in progress. While gaining significant importance, the high potential of oceans and seas also engenders pressures on the sustainable uses of space. Our coastal areas and islands are also at the forefront of climate change’s consequences, and must now be supported not only through mitigation, but also through very ambitious adaptation policies. Therefore, as we chart our course towards a more sustainable future, we must ensure that the EU blue transition leaves no coastal communities, no maritime sector, no sea-basin behind. In this respect, I believe that the SEArica Intergroup could remain a paramount tool to reflect on the implementation of the EU Green Deal, while calling for a Blue one.

Throughout these four years, the mission of the SEArica Intergroup has been one of collaboration and commitment. I would like to express my warmest thanks to all SEArica Vice-Chairs, to all SEArica Members, for their active and valuable contribution in making SEArica a major platform for political dialogue and policy assessment. I also particularly thank the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), which stands as the SEArica Secretariat, for their great support.

Since 2009, the SEArica Intergroup has sailed throughout EU mandates with the profound ambition to draw the attention of EU co-legislators on the main needs and potential of EU seas and rivers, as well as to raise the voice of citizens of islands, and coastal areas at EU level. I would like to express my wishes for success for renewal for the Intergroup, as Europe needs it, and our fellow citizens deserve it. 


Tonino Picula

Member of the European Parliament,

Chair of the SEArica Intergroup 2019-2024

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.

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With the support of the CPMR, Intergroup Secretariat