European Policy Context

In the Maritime sector, a critically important area for Europe, the strategic significance of fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic resource management has long been recognised. These high-value industries face serious challenges, indicating the need for strong European transnational policies aimed at securing their sustainability. One of the priorities set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy to promote sustainable growth puts education in a pivotal position, having as one of its seven Flagship Initiatives Youth on the move. The aim is to enhance the performance and international attractiveness of Europe's higher education institutions and raise the overall quality of all levels of education and training in the EU, combining both excellence and equity, by promoting student mobility and trainees' mobility, and improve the employment situation of young people.

The continuous process of educational reforms needs to be underpinned by a strong dynamic network aware of and responsive to the far-reaching implications of the changes. Aqua-tnet has taken up the task of addressing this need with respect to educational affairs in the Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management sectors, endeavouring not only to create curricular harmonisation (Bologna reforms) but also to minimise overlapping by revealing complementarities of European players in this field, focussing on key issues such as mobility, innovation in teaching, language skills, PhD and MSc Programmes.

Aqua-tnets wide sectoral support will be represented in the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation (EATIP) Technology Platform offering a new knowledge transfer pathway. The involvement of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) also gives opportunities for dialogue on the new Maritime Policy.