Celebrating the first year of implementation of BONUS in the European Parliament in Brussels

The high profile event held in the European Parliament on 26 November 2013 celebrated the first year of implementation phase of BONUS and announced the first projects to receive funding within the domain of the BONUS call 2012.

EP 26 Nov 2013
From l. to r. Mr. José Palma Andrés, Ms. Carla Montesi, Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Dainius Pavalkis, Lithuania, Mr. Kurt Vandenberghe and Ms. Marianne Wenning

In his welcome address, the Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Dainius Pavalkis on behalf of the current Presidency of the European Council, highlighted BONUS to be, at the time of pressure on public investments, a good example of successful international research coordination and cooperation that does not limit itself just to marine and maritime issues but also covers agriculture and other human induced issues relevant to the fragile Baltic Sea.

Also marking the celebration of the BONUS programme, Director Kurt Vandenberghe from the European Commission’s DG Research & Innovation, Director José Palma Andrés from DG Regional Policy, Director Carla Montesi from DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Director Marianne Wenning from DG Environment reflected the value added from different EU level perspectives on the knowledge based governance of the Baltic and other regional seas.


The topics addressed included, among others, the value of integrated ecosystem-based approach in research and innovation programme, the importance of macro-regional cooperation, the key role that blue growth can and should play and how the strategic research agenda and the BONUS research projects built on this foundation can contribute substantially to  environmental actions required in the efforts to protect the Baltic Sea.


“The action of BONUS is quite unique: it is creating an ecosystem among all Baltic Sea states, including Russia, and their researchers, innovators and businesses in order to have an integrated ecosystems-based approach to tackling significant challenges such as the Baltic Sea’s eutrophication. BONUS is cutting across scientific disciplines, economic sectors, policy agendas and national borders to keep the Baltic Sea alive," said Kurt Vandenberghe, Director of the Environment Directorate in DG Research & Innovation at the European Commission.

EP 26 Nov 2013 II
From l. to r. Mr. Eugenijus Butkus, Ms. Marita Ulvskog, Mr. Tunne Kelam, Ms. Kaisa Kononen
“BONUS has come a long way from its first science plan focusing on the sea only, and is now considering the Baltic Sea, its coasts and catchment as a continuum. We are proud to have announced today in this highly prestigious company the seven champions of the Viable ecosystem call after an extremely competitive selection process. All seven projects represent multidisciplinary and holistic research approach and aim at producing the best knowledge base for the decision makers”, said Mr. Eugenijus Butkus, Chair of the BONUS Steering Committee. “We certainly look forward to seeing the benefits from these projects towards the Baltic Sea region and its sustainable development as well as the wider European community and protection of the European seas.”

The event was moderated by the Members of the European Parliament Tunne Kelam from the Group of the European People's Party and the chair of the parliamentary Baltic-Europe intergroup and Marita Ulvskog from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The Office of MEP Satu Hassi from the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance supported greatly the development of the event.