Five EU European Missions have been proposed as a novel way to enable solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe program, PREP4BLUE is a €4.9 million project (Coordination and Support Action) and the first building block to Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030. This Mission seeks to protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity, prevent and eliminate pollution of our ocean, seas, and waters, and make the Blue Economy sustainable, carbon neutral, and circular.
PREP4BLUE aims to inspire, engage, and involve citizens and stakeholders to interlink, leverage, and optimise activities among the Mission’s projects, in particular its specific Lighthouse areas: Mediterranean Sea, Baltic and North Seas, Danube River basin, and Atlantic/Arctic Sea basin. The project partners are leading European organisations and thought leaders that complement each other in experience, expertise, and stakeholder reach across marine and freshwater areas. As a partner in the project JPI Oceans will identify funding opportunities for continuous mission roll-out and create synergies between relevant ocean/sea and freshwater related European initiatives.
Project Coordinator, Natalia Martin Palenzuela, Director of International and European Affairs at the Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer) said, “To engage research and innovation as a key catalyst for achieving the Mission’s objectives, a new direction must be taken towards participatory governance of this Mission, bold investment plans, and the co-design and co-implementation of solutions with citizens and stakeholders at its heart. PREP4BLUE seeks to enable this transformation during the first phase of the Mission (2021-2025).”
PREP4BLUE commenced on 1 June 2022 with an initial virtual launch meeting for partners on 20 June. In parallel the European Commission launched the Mission Implementation Charter at the UN Ocean conference on 30 June in Lisbon. With the charter the Commission is calling on a wide range of stakeholders, including public or private organisations, national/regional/local authorities, philanthropists and investors, enterprises and businesses, civil society, research and academia to adhere to the Mission Charter by submitting actions for achieving the Mission objectives.