After two years of preparatory work and negotiations, the Commission presented its proposal for a revised Decision on criteria and methodologies for determining good environmental status of European seas. While the legislation is now clearer and promotes stronger regional cooperation, some important safeguards are still missing to ensure an adequate level of protection of our seas and ocean. The legislation not only lacks an independent process to decide when Good Environmental Status is achieved but also has some inconsistencies with other European environmental policies. Seas At Risk, together with other NGOs, urged the Commission to address these issues.
EU countries are not being ambitious enough in implementing the Marine Directive, national targets for 2020 are too weak and there are major shortcomings in coordination at the international level. These are the key findings of a survey held among European NGOs earlier this year.
A study commissioned by the European Commission has analysed different possibilities for policy measures aimed at improving the marine environment. The study’s recommendations are a source of information for Member States when implementing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and include examples of cost effective measures for the protection of the marine environment.
Ministers attending today’s North East Atlantic Environment Summit in Bergen have failed to take marine environmental issues seriously and have signed an unambitious ”Declaration of Delay”, ignoring a whole raft of urgent issues that demand action from them NOW, rather than vague commitments to do something in the future.
In particular, the Presidency will focus on eutrophication, algal blooms, overfishing and pollution.
The NGO networks which work for the protection of the European seas will meet in Rome, during the celebrations of the European Maritime Day. They will discuss the future role of the Integrated Maritime Policy in achieving good environmental status in all European marine regions by 2020.
Brussels, 11th December 2007. A battle of wills between the Council and the European Parliament ended today with the adoption of a Marine Strategy Directive unfit for the purpose of protecting European Seas and acting as the “environmental pillar” of the EU’s new maritime policy.
Brussels, 10th October 2007. Yesterday the European Parliament continued its defence of a strong Marine Strategy Directive; today the Commission published a Communication on an EU maritime policy promoting exactly the kind of maritime industry development the environmental consequences of which the Directive is intended to combat.
Strasbourg, 14th November 2006. The European Parliament today called for a determined Europe-wide effort to combat marine pollution and the impact of destructive and unsustainable fishing, shipping, offshore oil & gas, and coastal and offshore construction activities, all of which present an escalating threat to Europe’s seas.