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Research and innovation
News article31 May 2023Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

Mediterranean lighthouse gains momentum at ‘Mission Ocean and waters’ event in Palermo

Photo from the event
Representatives of the first coalition of regions and cities having endorsed the Mission Charter, Palermo, Italy, 31 May 2023

The high-level event Mission ‘Restore our ocean and waters by 2030 - the Mediterranean lighthouse in action’ ending today in Palermo, presented the political commitments made by the Mediterranean countries to the Mission. It also showcased an array of initiatives and actions that support the Mission's goals and could be scaled up and implemented in sea basins around Europe. 

The location is no coincidence: Sicily is one of the leaders for the ecological transition in Italy thanks to its active role in support of the Mission, as the first region and the first island to adhere to the Mission Charter. Our host city Palermo has also just endorsed the Charter in its own right.  

The two-day event was organised by the European Commission in close cooperation with the Italian government, the Sicily Region, and the University of Palermo, with the support of the BlueMissionMed Co-ordination and Support Action. We welcomed Italian ministers, stakeholders from the Mediterranean basin, international and sea basin intergovernmental organisations as well as representatives from regions, cities, ports, islands, shipping, industries, academia, education, researchers, investors, NGOs, citizens, and youth. 

Giving centre stage to the projects and initiatives helping deliver on the Mission, it was also the occasion to showcase the coalitions of cities and regions and learn about solutions from Charter signatories.  

The second day featured islands’ actions to implement the ecological, circular and energy transitions for sustainability and increased resilience.

At an official ceremony, the Blue Champion Islands award was handed over to 

  • Capraia (Italy) for ‘Capraia smart island’, a project of Chimica Verdet Bionet 
  • Saint Honorat (France) for ‘Valorisation des déchets non-organiques', a project of the Cistercian Congregation of the Immaculate Conception (CCIC) 
  • Kuriat island (Tunisia) for ‘Plastic-free is the way to be’ a project of the Notre Grand Bleu organisation 

Finally, young people were in the spotlight with a celebration of Blue Champion Schools that have adhered to the Charter. 


Launched in September 2021, the EU Mission 'Restore our Ocean and Waters' aims to restore by 2030 the health of one of our most precious shared resources: our ocean and waters. 

This means protecting and restoring marine and freshwater biodiversity and ecosystems, eliminating pollution, and making the blue economy carbon-neutral and circular.  

The Mission supports regional engagement and cooperation through area-based “Lighthouses” in major sea and river basins: Atlantic-Arctic, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic-North Sea, and Danube-Black Sea. Mission lighthouses are sites to pilot, demonstrate, develop and deploy the Mission activities across EU seas and river basins. 

Get involved 

Your country, region or organisation can endorse the Charter and pledge actions that will contribute to the successful implementation of the Mission and its lighthouses. 

More information

EU Mission 'Restore our Ocean and waters'

Virtual exhibition of Mission Ocean project 


Publication date
31 May 2023
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation