Our Oceans, Seas and Coasts
Events and News
Note: all meetings of DG ENV in Brussels are tentative, to be confirmed four weeks in advance by invitation.
- 20-21/10/2014 WG GES (tbc)
- 10-11-11/2014 Marine Strategy Coordination Group (tbc)
- 27-28/11/2014 Water and Marine Director's meeting (Italy)
- 2-3/04/2014 WG ESA (Brussels)
- 29-30/04/2014 DIKE Technical Group on Data (Copenhagen)
- 10/05/2014 Let's Clean Up Europe together! Learn more about the action here
- 12-13/05/2014 Marine Strategy Coordination Group (Brussels)
- 5-6/06/2014 Water and Marine Director's meeting (Heraklion, Greece)
- 8/06/2014 Let's celebrate World Ocean's Day
- 8-9/09/2014 Joint workshop for policy areas Nature, WFD and MSFD (tbc)
- 25-26/06/2014 Technical Group on Data (Copenhagen)
- 29-30/09/2014 WG DIKE (tbc)
- 14-15/10/2014 WG ESA (Brussels)
- 3-4/03/2014 Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems: A European conference for the marine environment (Brussels)
- Ninth Meeting of the Marine Directors, 30-31 May 2013, Dublin (Ireland). Minutes are available here.
- Eighth Meeting of the Marine Directors, 27-29 November 2012, Limassol (Cyprus). Minutes are available here.
- Seventh Meeting of the Marine Directors, 4-5 June 2012, Copenhagen. Minutes are available here.
- Sixth Marine Directors’ Meeting, 07-09 December 2011, Warsaw, Poland. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fifth Marine Directors’ Meeting, 26-27 May 2011, Budapest, Hungary. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fourth Marine Directors’ Meeting, 2-3 December 2010, Spa, Belgium. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
Marine Strategy Coordination Group (MSCG)
- Tenth Meeting of the MSCG, 6-7 May 2013, Brussels. Minutes of the Meeting are available here.
- Ninth Meeting of the MSCG, 4-5 February 2013, Brussels. Minutes of the Meeting are available here.
- Eighth Meeting of the MSCG, 13-14 November 2012, Brussels. Minutes of the Meeting are available here.
- Seventh Meeting of the MSCG, 14 May 2012, Copenhagen. Minutes of the Meeting are available here.
- Sixth Meeting of the MSCG, 21-22 February 2012, Brussels. Minutes are available here.
- Fifth Meeting of the MSCG, 14 November 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fourth meeting of the MSCG, 10 May 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Third meeting of the MSCG, 15 November 2010, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
Working Group on Good Environmental Status
- 10th Meeting of the WG GES, 21-22 October 2013, Brussels. Minutes are available here.
- 9th Meeting of the WG GES, 5-6 March 2013, Brussels. Minutes are available here.
- 8th Meeting of the WG GES, 7 February 2012, Brussels. Minutes are available here.
- Seventh Meeting of WG GES, 27-28 September 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Sixth Meeting of WG GES, 05 April 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fifth Meeting of WG GES, 22 October 2010, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
Working Group on Data, Information and Knowledge Exchange
- 8th Meeting of the WG DIKE, 7-8 October 2013, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- 7th Meeting of the WG DIKE, 18-19 March 2013, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Sixth meeting of the WG DIKE, 30-31 October 2012, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fifth meeting of WG DIKE, 12-13 March 2012, Brussels. Minutes are available here.
- Fourth meeting of WG DIKE, 7-8 November 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Third Meeting of WG DIKE, 5-6 September 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Second Meeting of WG DIKE, 11 May 2011, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
Working Group on Economic and Social Analysis
- 8th Meeting of WG ESA, 15-16 October 2013, Brussels. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Seventh Meeting of WG ESA, 25-26 October 2012, Edinburgh. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Sixth Meeting of WG ESA, 13 - 14 October 2011, Bonn. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fifth Meeting of WG ESA, 31 March-1 April 2011, Paris. Minutes of the meeting are available here.
- Fourth Meeting of WG ESA, 21-22 October 2010, Brussels.
International Conference on Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in European Seas (Berlin, Germany)
Third Marine Litter High-Level Preparatory Meeting (Brussels).
Second Marine Litter High-Level Preparatory Meeting
First Marine Litter High-Level Preparatory Meeting – Stakeholders to tackle solutions for marine litter.
Clean up the Med! Commissioner Potočnik visits Athens.
See the video!
Read his speech!
Commission Workshop on Marine Litter.
Regional Sea Conventions
OSPAR Commission Meeting (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Major events by EU Presidencies
21-22 May 2013 (Valletta, Malta) – "European Maritime Day"
In 2013, the annual European Maritime Day Conference was held in Valletta (Malta) from 21-22 May 2013. It has attracted the attention of the European and the Mediterranean Maritime community with 847 participants who attended the 27 sessions of the Conference. The event was also celebrated across the EU with 14 events in different member states. The European Maritime Day 2013 was co-organised by the European Commission's DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Maltese Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, and the Maltese Ministry for Tourism. High-level political debates took place as well as more practical exchanges between maritime stakeholders, with a workshop "Removal of marine litter in Europe's 4 regional seas" on 22 May 2013.
The full programme, including speeches is available here.
21-22 May 2012 (Gothenburg) – "European Maritime Day"
In 2012, the annual European Maritime Day Conference was held in Gothenburg (Sweden) from 21-22 May 2012. The conference was co-organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Sweden, the Region of Vastra Götaland and the City of Gothenburg. The full programme, including speeches are available here.
19-20 May 2011 (Gdańsk) - "European Maritime Day"
In 2011 the annual European Maritime Day Conference was held in Gdańsk, Poland from 19 to 20 May. The conference was co-organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland, Office of the Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodeship, and the City of Gdańsk.
19 May 2010 (Gijón) - "European Maritime Day"
An improved scientific knowledge to support MSFD implementation needs to be developed through the “European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research”, being one of the key messages that Commissioner Potocnik addressed at the European Maritime Day at Gijón (Spain) on 19 May 2010.
16-17 September 2009 (Stockholm) - "Value of Marine Ecosystems"
The aim of the conference was to look at ways of integrating the value of marine ecosystem services into decision making, so that policies are designed to achieve sustainable management of these ecosystems.
9-11 December 2008 (Brest)
The French Presidency conference "2012 Marine Targets" in Brest on 9-11 December 2008 addressed the central "good environmental status" concept of the new Directive (see here)
- 27/09/2017: In the European Union (EU) there is a framework that requires EU Member States to develop strategies to achieve 'good environmental status' in their marine waters by 2020. This objective aims at having clean, healthy and productive seas. Read more.
- 17/05/2017: The Commission adopted two legislative instruments that helps Member States better define the good environmental status of their marine waters. A Commission Decision provides clearer criteria and methodologies as to what should be looked at when assessing and monitoring the EU's seas & oceans. This provides Member States with the flexibility to focus on problem areas and pushes for more cooperation among Member States sharing the same marine region. A Commission Directive clearly maps the pressures that the sea is subjected to and ecosystem elements with the criteria to be considered when determining good environmental status.
- 16/01/2017: The Commission adopted a report assessing Member States' monitoring programmes under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (COM(2017)3) . These monitoring programmes are crucial to monitor progress towards achieving good environmental status in EU's waters. The Commission's report finds that, despite considerable efforts, additional action is needed to ensure monitoring is made operational as soon as possible and covers all aspects of good environmental status. The report is accompanied by a Staff Working Document (SWD(2017)1) with detailed guidance per Member State, as well as national technical reports.
- 23/05/2016: The Commission published guidelines (SWD2016)178) on sustainable aquaculture, compatible with environmental protection under the Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive. These guidelines are aimed at improving business certainty for operators in the sector. Translations in all EU languages available here.
- 01/10/2015: Marine Protected Areas report
A Commission report shows significant progress in establishing protected areas in Europe's seas, with benefits for the economy and the environment.
- 20/10/2014: Marine Strategy Framework Directive
You might be interested to see a short animation that has been produced by the LIFE+ Celtic Seas Partnership project to introduce people to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
There are also some interviews with DG ENV and OSPAR, going into a little more details about the Directive.
- 20/10/2014: Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Competence Centre (MCC)
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Competence Centre (MCC) was established by the JRC, the European Commission’s in-house science service, to share harmonised marine policy and science information, and to provide the MSFD Common Implementation Strategy with up-to-date scientific knowledge.
The website is now online.
- 11/06/2014: Things you might not know about our seas and oceans…
One of the outcomes of the HOPE conference that took place in March this year was to "involve the public in ocean protection and better communicate our goals", with special emphasis on reaching out to young people.
To live up to this commitment, the European Commission has developed a set of new webpages, explaining to young people how we try to protect the marine environment.
Check out the "MSFD Rules!" or our version of "Ocean's 11" here!
- 05/03/2014: HOPE for our seas and ocean
To take stock of the state of Europe's seas five years after the adoption of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the European Commission organised a major conference on the marine environment, that was held in Brussels on 3-4 March 2014. The HOPE conference brought together those working with or in relation to the European marine environment and provided them with the opportunity to discuss progress made over the past 5 years, the problems that still remain and the solutions for improved coherence and better marine governance. At the close of the Healthy Oceans - Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) conference, the "Declaration of HOPE" output document has been issued. Presentations and recordings of the sessions are available here!
Speech by Commissioner Potočnik
- 20/02/2014: Healthy Oceans and Seas in Europe by 2020: further efforts needed to reach the EU objective
The European Commission adopted a report today, drawing on the lessons from five years of implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The European Commission's analysis shows that the marine environment is not in good status and more efforts are urgently needed if the EU is to reach its 2020 goal.
- Online consultation to tackle the problem of marine litter launched!
- The Commission launched an online consultation with the aim to understand stakeholders’ views on a range of actions and policies which could be undertaken in order to tackle the problem of marine litter. The results of the consultation will be used as one of the bases for formulating a Union-wide quantitative headline reduction target for marine litter. All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation (until 18/12/2013).
- Participate here... Read the press release...
The MSFD's contribution to international and EU commitments in the marine field
- The Commission adopted a report outlining the contribution of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to EU and international commitments in the marine environment, including the follow up to the oceans chapter of Rio+20.
An independent, supporting study (not representing the view of the European Commission) is also available for more detailed information.
- Read more...
- Links between the Nature Directives and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
- FAQs document now published by DG ENVs Nature and Marine Unit!
- Read more...
- New Brochure “Seas for Life”
- The brochure "Seas for Life - Protected, Sustainable, Shared European Seas by 2020" was published in November 2011. Read it here !
- New Commission Document
- The Commission Staff Working Paper on the Relationship between the initial assessment of marine waters and the criteria for good environmental status was prepared in support to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). This technical document provides important guidance to Member States to accompany the Commission Decision of 1 September 2010 on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters. Together, these documents provide a better understanding of the Directive and will therefore allow Members States to take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment by the year 2020. Read it here!
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – or Rio+20 Conference – took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Read more…
22-25 May 2012 – 12th Edition of Green Week
On 23 May 2012, a full strand of marine issues was organised during the Green Week conference. More information is available here.
01/01/2012 - National Public Consultation Procedures on the Marine Directive 01/01/2012
Member States have started their public consultation on the initial assessment of the status of their marine waters, the GES determination and the establishment of environmental targets. Read more...
30 May 2011 - Review of ICZM Recommendation
A hearing on ICZM took place on 30 May 2011. Experts from all over Europe expressed their views on the problems and priorities to be addressed as part of future EU action to support further ICZM implementation. Read more
HELCOM News Archive
HELCOM Ministerial Meeting
The Ministers of the Environment of all the nine Baltic coastal States, together with the European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, will gather in Copenhagen to discuss the status and the future of the Baltic Sea. Together they will discuss how to improve environmental protection in a still fragile Baltic Sea, how to develop further the ecosystem approach to the management of our seas, which is a precondition for green growth in the marine sector, and seek opportunities for strengthen, more coherent policy implementation.
More information about the meeting can be found here.
HELCOM Ministerial meeting (Moscow, 20 May 2010)
The Ministerial-level Meeting of HELCOM ended with the adoption of the Moscow Declaration which states the intention of the Baltic Sea countries to reinforce joint efforts to restore the good ecological status of the Baltic marine environment. The aim of the Ministerial Meeting was to evaluate the first results of the implementation of the strategic HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to radically reduce pollution to the sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021.
This report is an essential document for the environmental managers and decision-makers in the Baltic Sea Region and it is novel in several respects. For the first time an attempt has been made to assess the ecosystem health of an entire regional sea, including the associated coasts and benefits to society