The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, have taken the first step in a wide-reaching maritime strategy by entrusting Annick Girardin with the reforming of the Ministry of the Sea and by increasing the maritime component French recovery plan by €650 million.
"The scope of this ministry is equal to its ambitions, equal to the maritime policy that we are going to build and implement for our country," declared Annick Girardin, Minister of the Sea. "For France to once more become an oceanic power, a clear policy on the major maritime issues of today and tomorrow needs to be implemented: protecting the sector stakeholders following the Covid-19 crisis, establishing a sustainable maritime model, managing the Brexit negotiations and the migration issues. Training, growth, sovereignty and solidarity are at the heart of the reforming of this ministry, the first step towards making the 21st century a maritime century.”
Annick Girardin was appointed Minister for the Sea on 7 July 2020. As part of her duties, the minister is responsible for navigation, safety, training, yachting and nautical activities. She is also responsible for spatial planning at sea and marine mineral resources policy. She defines and implements maritime fisheries policy in conjunction with the Minister for Agriculture. She sets out the geographical strategy for France's influence on the oceans and exercises, jointly with the Minister for Transport, powers relating to ports, maritime transport, the merchant navy and social regulations in the maritime sector.
The Minister is also involved in coastal protection and marine energies, food policy as regards sea products and aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism, research, education and innovation-promoting programmes, international ocean and resource conservation policy and the Brexit negotiations.
France Relance (“France revival 100€ billion plan”): a ministry committed to an ambitious national maritime policy
In order to make the Government's commitment to an ambitious national maritime policy a reality, the Ministry of the Sea is announcing the mobilisation of €650 million for the maritime sector within the framework of France Relance. This maritime component of the recovery plan will make it possible to:
- support and develop the port economy, the fishing and aquaculture sectors and the maritime industries;
- strengthen the preservation and resilience of the coastline;
- promote seafaring professions;
- help the tourism and research sectors and better disseminate maritime culture.
Annick Girardin, Minister for the Sea, states: "Establishing a dedicated maritime section in the recovery plan is only the first step in strengthening our maritime policy. All stakeholders in the sector need to be able to express themselves so that this policy can be adopted by all. This plan is a tremendous opportunity for the maritime players, but its implementation will not be automatic: State aid will depend on a commitment by the stakeholders to the challenge of the century - the environment.”
In addition to cross-cutting measures applicable to all companies, such as the €10 billion annual reduction in production taxes, two parts of the recovery plan are exclusively dedicated to maritime sectors and are managed by the Ministry of the Sea.
- The sustainable transformation of ports: €200 million dedicated to their ecological transition (clean energy supply to ships at quay, rail freight, etc.).
- Strengthening a sustainable fisheries and aquaculture model: €50 million to support the sectors and develop sustainable aquaculture and fishing models.
The Ministry of the Sea will also lead the France Relance plan in the following areas:
- preservation of the marine environment and the coastal quality of life;
- marine industries;
- sustainable tourism;
- research and development of scientific expertise on the ocean;
- strengthening the attractiveness of the maritime sectors, which provide jobs.
Over the coming weeks, Annick Girardin, Minister for the Sea, in partnership with local authorities and socio-professional players, will identify the priority projects for an inclusive and carbon-free maritime revival.
The organisation of the next edition of the Interministerial Committee for the Sea (CIMer), in the fourth quarter of 2020, will provide details of the projects selected.