Liberal MEP Gesine Meissner — Parliament’s Special Envoy on Maritime Policy
The field of maritime policy is comprehensive, covering challenges such as large accumulations of plastic floating in the ocean or declining oxygen due to climate change as well as opportunities such as the potential of the oceans and seas as transport route and source of food, energy and resources. However, in the European Parliament maritime issues are spread over several parliamentary committees.
Hence, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, has appointed ALDE MEP Gesine Meissner (FDP/Germany) as Special Envoy on Maritime Policy to provide him direct assistance in this policy area.
“The ocean is the biggest European constituency, however, without voters. Now it has a voice at the European Parliament. This is a great opportunity and I will take a stand for the recognition of the ocean’s great importance for the human well-being and the future of the planet”, commented Mrs Meissner on her appointment.
“I am looking forward to work very closely with the President of the European Parliament on an ambitious maritime agenda. In many regards, the EU has become a forerunner but huge challenges such as plastic pollution or climate change require further action.
In particular, marine litter is a challenge of great concern to European citizens. The designation of a Special Envoy on maritime policy shows that their voices are heard. In the next months, I will try to work closely with decision-makers, stakeholders and citizens on an ambitious ocean governance in Europe but also internationally and to increase ocean literacy in Europe to engage the youth in this important topic.”
The Special Envoy is responsible to inform the President personally on developments in the field of maritime policy, represent the European Parliament at conferences and other events as well as assisting him in formulating policy options on maritime issues until the end of the current legislative term.
Mrs Meissner has been working since 2009 as a Member of the European Parliament on maritime policy. She has been rapporteur on Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) in 2010, on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in 2014 and is currently rapporteur on the directive on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships. Furthermore, since 2014 she is the President of the European Parliament Intergroup Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas (Searica).