VNR: Europe to the rescue of its seas and oceans (rushes)
The European marine environment is faced with an increased number of threats : effects of climate change, impacts of commercial fishing, oil spills and discharges, introduction of non native species, eutrophication, litter pollution, contamination by dangerous substances and microbiological pollution, … Measures to control and reduce pressures and impacts on the marine environment do exist, but they have been developed in a sector by sector approach resulting in a patchwork of policies, legislation, programmes and actions plans at national, regional, EU and international level. At the EU level, while there are a number of policies affecting the marine environment, there exists no overall, integrated policy for marine protection. The need for strong EU action was underscored by a large majority of stakeholders, in the context of a general consultation. On October the 24th, the European Commission has adopted an integrated EU strategy on marine protection, combining a Communication with a legislative instrument in the form of a Framework Directive. The proposal is aimed at thriving maritime economy and the full potential of sea based activity in environmentally sustainable manner. The end objective of the proposed directive is to achieve good environmental status by 2021. The proposal will set common objectives and principles at EU level, establish marine regions as management units for implementation of the strategy and invite Members States to cooperate actively among themselves and with third countries concerned.