Frequently Asked Questions about the integrated maritime policy
  1. What does the integrated maritime policy deal with?
  2. What about sector specific issues (piracy, off-shore energy, shipping, marine environment, etc)?
  3. Why is the EU involved in maritime affairs?
  4. Does the integrated maritime policy impinge on the powers of the EU countries?
  5. What are the milestones of the integrated maritime policy?

1. What does the integrated maritime policy deal with?

The integrated maritime policy ensures that sea- and coastal-related policies are developed in a coherent manner. Policy areas:

2. What about sector-specific issues (e.g. piracy, off-shore energy, shipping, marine environment)?

If you are interested in policies dealing with specific maritime sectors and activities, like shipping, shipbuilding, fisheries, regional development, marine environment, piracy, off-shore energy, check our recommended links: they will direct you to relevant sources of information.

3. Why is the EU involved in maritime affairs?

  • The EU is surrounded by five seas and two oceans.
  • Fish habitats and marine eco-systems do not stop at borders, nor do transport and security problems. These issues must be dealt with at EU level.
  • The EU Treaties give the EU power to act through many policies that impact on sea activities (fisheries, environment, transport, maritime safety and security, research, industrial policy, etc).
  • 90% of EU external trade and close to 40% of trade inside the EU is seaborne. There is growing recognition that maritime transport is more fuel-efficient than road transport, and therefore kinder on the environment. This, together with the relocation of manufacturing activities outside Europe, poses a major challenge to the European economy, our ports and the maritime transport sector.
  • Marine science and research as well as new technologies for making more sustainable use of the seas require substantial funding. Effort at all EU levels is needed to create synergies among all the players concerned.

4. Does the integrated maritime policy impinge on the powers of the EU countries?

Here, as in other policies, the EU acts only when joint action is more effective than each member country acting individually (this is the 'principle of subsidiarity').

5. What are the milestones of the integrated maritime policy?

The integrated maritime policy was established in 2007 after a broad public consultation. You can access all the official documents and follow the policy developments at the Integrated Maritime Policy page.

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