During the “Level Playing Field” work area meetings, the status quo of the blue economy, its shortcomings and potential solutions were analysed by the participants. The importance of improving maritime and fisheries legal knowledge was highlighted as a crucial factor in order to stimulate innovation, development and economic growth in the medium and long term.
Currently, the sustainability and competitiveness of the blue economy sectors face several challenges that are related to foreign trade and internal market, competition policies, economy, employment and environment. These challenges had revealed weaknesses in terms of legal knowledge, so a hub was proposed to be created. This hub should have an agile structure in order to strengthen sectorial capacities through the generation, management and transfer of maritime and fishing legal knowledge.
Galicia has relevant institutions specialized in training and research in marine environment and maritime sector such as: Campus do Mar (which includes experts from the University of A Coruña, the University of Santiago de Compostela and the University of Vigo), CETMAR (Sea Technology Center), IEO (the Spanish Institute of Oceanography), CSIC-IIM or the Consellería do Mar Training Centers. However, the lack of a permanent service specialized in maritime and fishery legal advice. This kind of service is necessary to structure the different initiatives about this topic and to create an effective group of experts dedicated to research in these issues, capable of face and anticipate the legal challenges of the maritime sector and the public administration in this field.
Knowledge in legal field favours an environment of legal security, which is essential for the maritime sector to be competitive. For this reason, the creation of a common base in maritime and fisheries legal knowledge was proposed in order to improve the competitiveness of all blue economy sectors.
For all these reasons, the private Foundation "Foundation - Centre for Innovation in Maritime and Fishing Legal Studies (MarInnLeg) was created. The main objective of MarInnLeg is to contribute to the generation, transfer and management of maritime and fisheries legal knowledge through the following activities / services:
- Maritime legal advice: several services about maritime legal advice will be offered to both private sector and public administrations. Firstly, the Foundation will focus on between 6 and 10 cross-cutting topics, identified by the Foundation’s Board and by the Scientific Committee.
- Training: specialized training will be designed to reinforce the professionals capabilities of the sector. For example, specific seminars to analyse topics of interest, a Summer School for University students, specializations courses, and others.
- Observatory: an observatory will be created to provide specialized information to stakeholders (University, Administration, Private sector and Civil society). It will be responsible for compiling and making available the national, community and international regulations; CJEU jurisprudence; white, green and blue EU books. In addition, it is intended to publish a digital Newsletter with information on legislation, judgments, current events, published articles, etc.
- Research: MarinnLeg will promote general research by supporting specific initiatives at regional, national and international level. It is expected the development of publications, specialized reports, outreach activities such as round tables and conferences. A number of research lines have been already identified by the Foundation’s Board and the Scientific Committee.
- The increase of knowledge of all stakeholders about maritime and fishing legal issues, according to their needs.
- From the increase of knowledge, the private sector will improve its competitiveness. This fact will contribute to maintain/generate employment.
- Decisions will make by the Public Administrations based on the acquired knowledge.
- Cooperation between quadruple helix’ members is reinforced.
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