fbpx Moving towards a Blue Society | Ecsite

Moving towards a Blue Society

sea for society_moving towards a blue society_parliament event

The Sea for Society project is nearly over and "it was an impressive achievement" as coined by Philippe Galiay from the European Commission. Their final event, at the European Parliament, gathered EU decision-makers and stakeholders to present arguments and recommendations to build a Blue Society concept and make the Ocean an integral part of society.

“Ocean life is invisible to our eyes: it is our challenge to disclose it before our citizens” said Tiago Pitta e Cunha, Cabinet of the President of Portugal.


The project Sea for Society (SFS) started with a consultation phase involving stakeholders and citizens, aiming to raise awareness and identify top challenges in our daily interactions with the sea. This phase was followed by a mobilisation phase, advocating a collective vision for sustainable marine environments: the “Blue Society”.

The consultation phase of the SFS project was based on the principles of participatory dialogue. The objective was to engage stakeholders, citizens and young people to discuss how to change their vision and relation to the seas in the frame of six themes linking marine environment to their everyday life: Human Health, Energy, Leisure and Tourism, Transport, A Place to Live and Food Supply. In order to carry out the Consultation Process, SFS assigned nine Geographical Areas (France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) distributed across Europe to ensure that there is a sufficient dialogue encompassing geographical and cultural differences and engaging a broad amount of stakeholders, citizens and youth. The results can be analysed here.

The new knowledge generated during the consultation process was taken forward to a mobilisation and empowerment phase where a plan was constructed to broaden the transfer of knowledge to a much larger and broader audience with a focus on empowering actors and citizens to take tangible actions to help address the identified challenge. The mobilization phase was closely linked with the launch of the Blue Society concept. The highlights of this phase are listed here.

The concept of “Blue Society” takes into account aspects of the “Green Economy” applied to the sustainable exploitation of marine resources, but also integrates social and cultural dimensions. It encourages political leaders and citizens alike to take an active role in stewardship and includes all stakeholders in implementing solutions to critical issues affecting the world’s oceans and coasts.

Visit their webpage to learn more about the project.


Do you wish to know more about he “Blue society” concept? Are you considering to start a workshop or exhibition on marine topics? Do you need dissemination material? Are you interested in citizen consultation methodology? Check out our SfS toolkit now available online!


The conference was hosted by Ricardo Serrão Santos, MEP and Co-Chair of the Working Group “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” of the EP Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”. Many stakeholders presented their arguments and recommendations to build a Blue Society and the meeting was concluded by the signing of the Blue Society Stakeholder’s Commitment. Organisations from across Europe made their support official and agreed to continue to work in dialogue and partnership to improve Human-Ocean dynamics globally. You can read the event report and the press conference attached below or even webstream the event here.



  • civil society
  • maritime policy
  • MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos
  • oceans
  • Seas
  • sustainable management