Commission review gives Member States a ‘must do better’ report for Marine Strategies

A report has been released by the European Commission evaluating the current conditions of the European seas (2014). Current state of the seas was interpreted by Member States in relation to the Marine Strategy Framework Strategy (MSFD) to achieve Good Environmental Status. 

In July 2008, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was introduced by the European Union to achieve Good Environmental Status in European seas by 2020. The overall aim is to deliver sustainable management practices to eliminate the negative impacts imposed by human and industrial activity on our seas. The MSFD is a piece of European legislation for member states to deliver marine environmental protection. In 2012 the Member States documented on their current state of the seas in relation to What Good Environmental Status will look like.

The European Commission released an evaluation of the reports conducted by each member state and the following conclusions were made:

  • There is a poor level of implementation, co-ordination, and integration of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC)
  • Lack of common understanding of the definition for Good Environmental Status and what it entails.
  • Many unrealistic and un-integrated targets which are difficult to measure.

The report emphasises concerns about the level of co-ordination and between regional seas and jurisdictional boundaries, and the lack of integration with other environmental legislation. The review indicates many member states did not implement targets corresponding with other environmental legislation such as the Habitats or Birds Directive, and the Water Framework Directive.

To find out more about the European Commission evaluation report for marine strategies follow this link

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