The ENMC, together with DGMare, is one of the two driving forces behind this study since the organization stressed – repeatedly over the past years – the need for reliable European maritime economic data, as a paramount tool for helping to boost Blue Growth
Being unsatisfied with the inconsistency of existing data (including the questionable figures officially delivered by the EU on the occasion of the “Limassol declaration” in 2012), ENMC Presidium itself made first attempts by trying to collect economic data from the 17 national maritime clusters of our network. But thehe difficulties encountered revealed to be similar to the conclusions of 2007 Eurostat study “Approach towards an Integrated Maritime Policy Database”, and did not allow to achieve a reliable, homogeneous and satisfactory result. This situation then led us to draft a guidelines document (Terms of reference) which we sent to DG Mare in January 2014. This paper elaborated on the conditions for the success and usability of such a study (which are in our view: its independence, neutrality, the definition of common criteria, the possibility to update the database on a periodic basis and the inclusion of the ENMC and national maritime clusters as advisors in the peer review process).
The ENMC is fairly happy with this first decision, just made by the European Commission, and notices with satisfaction that the principle of a pre-study, to identify and tackle complications with a comprehensive data collection, has been retained. The methodology of data collection is also matching the expectations of the European maritime industry.
After having perused the call, the ENMC hopes that the maritime clusters will be well represented within the peer review board following Commissioner Vella’s declaration on July 2nd 2015 stating that “In the maritime field the advisory role of ENMC should be considered as necessary.”
“We are at the midway point: the maritime economic database is one of the two tools we require to boost Blue Growth. Now we have to focus – together with the European Commission – on the implementation of this first step (the next one being the reinforcement of the European Maritime Cluster out of the ENMC). A point which will hopefully be put on the agenda of the Commission in 2016 at the latest” told ENMC Chairman Francis Vallat.