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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article8 June 2023Representation in Cyprus1 min read

World Oceans Day: Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius

Joint statement for World Oceans Day


Today, on World Oceans Day, we celebrate the invaluable role that the ocean plays in our lives, providing food and oxygen and playing an essential role in regulating our climate and driving our economies. 

The European Union reiterates its commitment to ocean protection in a year when we celebrate that the world came together to conclude the landmark Treaty of the High Seas to protect the ocean, tackle environmental degradation, fight climate change, and prevent biodiversity loss – the BBNJ Treaty.

This is a significant step forward in the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and to help enforce the '30% by 2030' conservation objective set out at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in December 2022 in Montreal.

To take this forward, the European Union is committing €40 million through a Global Ocean Programme. For the future of our Planet, we now call on our partners around the world to join our collective commitments by ratifying the BBNJ Treaty.

To effectively protect the ocean and uphold international law, in particular United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Joint Communication on an enhanced EU Maritime Security Strategy puts forward a series of concrete actions to cope with new and evolving security challenges at sea. By working collaboratively with our Member States and international partners, we can further strengthen our ability to address maritime security challenges effectively.

The European Union also wants to tackle without delay the ocean plastic pollution crisis, by closely engaging with our partners to reach an ambitious Global Agreement on plastic pollution, and engaging citizens in the #EUBeachCleanup campaign.

Moreover, the EU Mission 'Restore our Ocean and Waters' will keep supporting research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments.

The European Union is formally concluding the new WTO Fisheries Subsidies agreement. This is a crucial step in ensuring that fisheries subsidies – within the European Union and globally - place sustainability as their core objective. The objective is clear: to ensure the conservation of fish stocks, which are indispensable for the livelihoods of coastal communities and global food security.

Collective action is vital to addressing the challenges facing our oceans today. We must find real and sustainable solutions and act now.


Publication date
8 June 2023 (Last updated on: 8 June 2023)
Representation in Cyprus