After almost two years of consultations and negotiations, the European Union has finally adopted new criteria defining what it means for our seas and ocean to be in Good Environmental Status. Seas At Risk and its members have been actively involved in this process and, with other European NGOs, have contributed to a more coherent set of criteria, increasing the chances of having a similar level of protection across European seas.

But the real challenge starts now as Member States will have to redefine their national targets and measures in light of these new criteria in time to achieve good environmental status by 2020, the objective of the Marine Directive.