The Blue community: organisations, projects and policy/strategy references
Blue community organisations
In the following a non exhaustive list of important organisations which focus on blue-growth related issues.
Union for the Mediterranean
European Cooperation Programme for the Mediterranean area
The Mediterranean Science Commission
International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies
Knowledge Transfer for Blue Growth
United Nations Environment Programme – Mediterranean Action Plan
European Regions Charter for coastal protection and for the promotion of a network of a European Interregional Observatory for the defence of Mediterranean coasts
FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM)
Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions
Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans
Waterborne Technology Platform
The European research and innovation platform for waterborne industries
European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform
European Technology & Innovation Platform on Wind Energy
Ocean Energy Europe
Updated lists of blue projects, actions and news from the Blue Economy community can be consulted at the following platforms and repositories:
- The Mediterranean Blue Economy Stakeholder Platform (MedBESP) – former Virtual Knowledge Center: a regional networking platform for sharing knowledge and for supporting the development of the blue economy. MedBESP is sn operational tool for a service goal developed by the European Commission – DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and currently managed by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
- Marine Knowledge Gate: an online repository of marine research Projects profiles and results (Knowledge Outputs – information about the knowledge produced by the research activity in a non-technical language) with funding from the European Union and major national Research Funding and Performing Organisations from 25 European coastal countries, as well as from Regional and International Agencies. Managed by EUROcean.
- BlueBio Reaserch Projects’ Web-Mapping Apllications: a database of cooperation in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing, comprising research projects funded at international and national level and active in the time period 2003-2022 (forecasted). Implemented within the ERA-NET COFUND BlueBio.
- BlueInvest: BlueInvest aims to boost innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy, by supporting readiness and access to finance for early-stage businesses, SMEs and scale-ups. It is enabled by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
In order to achieve BLUEMED’s objectives identified in the Strategic Agenda, research infrastructures (RI) are key. RI have strongly developed in the past year and cover already a large proportion of the scientific needs of research and innovation communities.
Two major stakes will be addressed during the BLUEMED project: first, sharing RI – how to link and to facilitate collaboration between different scientific domains and stakeholders in order to boost knowledge and innovation; second, long-term sustainability of RI – how to maintain them, how to upgrade their equipment and tools, and how to enhance training of users.
In the following, the BlueMed approach to the issues pertaining Research Infrastructures in the Mediterranean, and a mapping of the existing resources and actors.
RI occupy an important portion of the BlueMed Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and are mentioned in the following goals and actions:
- goal: Develop optimal aquaculture strategies, technologies and practices
action: Develop new strategies, technologies and practices to make aquaculture sustainable
- goal: From traditional maritime economic to blue growth activities
action: Consolidate existing infrastructure that supports the development of innovative green technologies performed by the Mediterranean clusters
- goal: Greening vessels and facilities
action: Design and develop innovative infrastructure solutions to improve the sustainability of ports, with special reference to energy efficiency and externalities relating to the surrounding built environment
- goal: Towards an observing system of systems
action: Develop an integrated Mediterranean observing system, based on existing European networks and consortia, including European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, and national infrastructure, in line with the overall European contribution to global observing systems
- goal: Tailor-made sensors and platforms
action: Develop new ideas for robotic systems and devices to explore and work on the seabed in deep-sea area
- goal: Changing the rationale: one platform, multiple uses and activities
actions: Spatialise and cross-check: offshore fixed and mobile infrastructure distribution and environmental monitoring and surveillance needs from coasts to open sea;
Develop new concepts and protocols with private companies and maritime operators to maximize the use of infrastructures, ships and platforms for scientific and environmental monitoring, safety and security purposes;
Develop tailor-made technologies to improve efficiency on installations for the exploitation of marine renewable energies (wind, current and waves).
- goal: Develop optimal aquaculture strategies, technologies and practices
1. Research vessels and equipment
Research vessels and equipment: for sea access and deep sea exploration/sampling
Coordination between research vessels is a core issue. As research vessels and equipment are expensive, coordination is important in order to reduce costs of cruises. Furthermore, as there are big differences in fleet operation mechanisms among countries, it is relevant to promote exchanges for setting realistic schemes of cooperation. BLUEMED will support international cooperation and coordination for a better use of infrastructures, in order to benefit to the most.
Data collected during cruises, including multipurpose goals cruises – both for research and monitoring – is another core issue. A specific effort to hire and train more technicians and engineers to implement the processing of data, including long-term storage, in a coherent manner in all Mediterranean countries is needed.
Moreover, due to jurisdictional issues, scientific cruises do not have access in practice to the whole Mediterranean basin. International cooperation within the BLUEMED framework intend to solve the issue of access permission in waters under national jurisdictional regimes.
To conclude, BLUEMED can work very practically on the ways to experiment fleet time-sharing and transnational access to vessels via some pilot projects, and facilitate the access across regions for research purposes.
- ERVO: European Research Vessels Operators
- EUROFLEETS (2009-2013) and EUROFLEETS 2 (2013-2016): New operational steps towards an alliance of European research fleets
- European Research Vessels Infobase
- OFEG: Ocean Facilities Exchange Group
- Vessel tracker
4. Satellites and spatial activities
Satellites and spatial: remote sensing for sea-surface monitoring
Satellites and spatial activities are very useful to gather data on marine sciences and to better know and understand seas and seacoasts, and cover fundamental science as well as a growing number of operational services. Various programs and European satellites infrastructures are dedicated to marine observation.
A gap that BlueMed can bridge concerns the interaction between the scientific community and the space agencies. The needs of the scientific community have to be better taken into consideration in space observation programs, by reinforcing interactions with space agencies. There is also a need for reinforcement of systematic systems allowing for data discovery encompassing satellite and in situ data.
- AIS International: Aerospace International Service
- EPS: EUMETSAT Polar System
- ESA engineering & technology activities linked to CubeSats
- GEO: Group on Earth Observations / GEOSS: Global Earth Observation System of Systems
- JASON-2 / OSTM: Ocean Surface Topography Mission
- Medspiration ESA European Space Agency
- ORFEO: Optical and Radar Federated Earth Observation
- PLEIADES High Resolution satellites (CNES): High resolution observing and mapping Earth’s surface (incl. coastal areas)
- SPOT: Satellites pour l’Observation de la Terre
2. Marine based facilities
Marine based facilities: structures for seawater and seabed monitoring and observation, offshore in sea water testing laboratories, including in situ platforms, marine test facilities and in situ observing systems
Many projects of observing systems and forecasting initiatives emerged and are progressively developed, from regional to international scale. Bilateral initiatives between two Mediterranean countries were also established. BlueMed could improve knowledge by developing new observing systems dedicated to biology and contaminants and by adapting existing ones.
- EMSO (EMSODEV 2015-2018): European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory
- EurOcean, European Center for Information on Marine Science and Technology
- EuroGOOS: European Global Ocean Observing System
- JERICO (2011-2015) and JERICO NEXT (2015-2019): Joint European Research Infrastructure network for Coastal Observatory – Novel European eXpertise for coastal observaTories
- MARINERGI (2017-2019): Planning an Integrated European Research Infrastructure
- MaRINET-2 (2017-2021): Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network for Enhancing Technologies – 2
- Hydralab+ Adaption for Climate Change
- MedSeA: Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate
- MONGOOS: Mediterranean Oceanography Network for the Global Ocean Observing System
5. Marine data management
Marine data management: structures for data validation, storage and dissemination through web portals
The availability and accessibility of data is a priority for stakeholders involved in marine and maritime policy, and also for the private sector. Structured networks and databases already exist at European level, including the Mediterranean, but tools and projects on data need to be further developed, in order to become more accessible and even easier to use for the users (scientists, public stakeholders, policy makers, private companies or ordinary citizens…).
One of the key issues of marine data is the access to data once it is collected. The development of metadatabases for long-term storage is also important, even when projects are completed. Scientists need to be able to have access to well-structured, easily accessible data and harmonized and corresponding information, based on the same standards. This standardization of data is key in order to boost cooperation between countries, organizations and stakeholders. BlueMed could push forward the cooperation at Mediterranean level by facilitating communication and collaboration between existing infrastructures and organisations/programmes.
Finally, BlueMed could raise awareness within the science community and promote sharing data as the first step to enhance research and innovation.
- CFP: Common Fisheries Policy
- CMEMS: Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service
- DCF: Data Collection Framework
- DG Mare EMODNET (since 2009): European Marine Data and Observation Network
- DG Mare European Atlas of the Seas
- EEA: European Environment Agency
- EEA Waterbase – Transitional, coastal and marine waters
- EVEREST: European Virtual Environment for Research – Earth Science Themes: a solution
- GFCM: General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean
- ICES: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
- ICES Data Centre
- i-Marine (since 2011): Data e-Infrastructure Initiative for Fisheries Management and Conservation of Marine Living Resources
- JRC EMIS: Environmental Marine Information System
- MSFD: Marine Strategy Framework Directive
- MSS: Maritime Security Strategy
- PERSEUS: Policy-Oriented Marine Environmental Research in the Southern European Seas
- WFD: Water Framework Directive
3. Land based facilities
Land based facilities: aquaculture (including production of micro-algae and by-products), onshore platforms/renewable energy (towing tank, wave basin), shipping (different from towing tank), harbors, coastal basin, ballast water management, mesocosms, land based test facilities and basins, observation systems including HF radar facilities
Aquaculture facilities developed across the Mediterranean for the last 20 years. This rapidly growing sector can be an opportunity to continue to exploit fishing resources while preserving existing natural ones. Aquaculture is therefore a good example of blue growth potential in the Mediterranean area. Among economic activities having a direct impact on the marine environment, the exploitation of renewable energy from marine resources, notably offshore wind, waves and currents, is in its pioneering phase, and a significant development in the next decades is foreseen. A stronger collaboration among RI and their upgrade is also made necessary to face the challenges of new emerging activities with impact on the Mediterranean, as in the case of the exploitation of MRE sources, notably offshore wind, waves and currents.
European regions facing the Mediterranean boast a large portfolio of wave basins and flume tank infrastructures providing a suitable environment for studies on coastal erosion and sediment transport, wave/structure interactions, coastal infrastructure design. These infrastructures are run by universities and by public or private research centers, and access by external users as individual or through joint R&D initiatives is largely supported. Considering the large community they represent and the widespread distribution in Mediterranean EU coastal regions, the range of testing capabilities they offer and the expertise of research teams, stronger networking initiatives should be promoted to fully develop the potential impact in many R&D sectors addressing the marine environment and human activities on it, especially shared access with southern Mediterranean countries. Transfer of technology is particularly important to allow sharing with southern Mediterranean countries.
- AQUACOSM: Network of European AQUAtic MesoCOSM Facilities Connecting Mountains to Oceans from the Arctic to Mediterranean
- eLTER: Long-term Ecosystem Research in Europe
- EMBRC: European Marine Biological Resource Centre
- ESFRI: European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures
- Hydralab+ Adaption for Climate Change
- ICOS: Integrated Carbon Observation System & Ocean Thematic Centre
- LIFEWATCH: E-Science European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research
- MARINERGI (2017-2019): Planning an Integrated European Research Infrastructure
- MaRINET-2 (2017-2021): Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network for Enhancing Technologies – 2
Policy and strategy references
BlueMed refers to a complex interwoven and multilevel landscape of strategic policies from different institional bodies: notable policies and strategies regarding Blue Growth in the Mediterranean are here divided for convenience into four categories: Strategic EU Blue Frame, Regional Cooperation, Sectoral Policies, Directives and other Regulatory Acts.
The list is by definition incomplete and continuously evolving.
STRATEGIC EU BLUE FRAME
Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (COM(2010) 2020 final)
Europe 2020 sets out a vision of Europe’s social market economy for the 21st century.
Europe 2020 puts forward three mutually reinforcing priorities:
– Smart growth: developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
– Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy.
– Inclusive growth: fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial
Towards more sustainable growth and jobs in the blue economy (COM(2012)494final; COM(2014)242final)
The blue economy can be a driver for Europe’s welfare and prosperity. That was the message of the Blue Growth Strategy adopted by the Commission in 2012. Since then, the Commission has undertaken a series of steps to translate it into actions. It has launched initiatives in many policy
areas related to Europe’s oceans, seas and coasts, facilitating the cooperation between maritime business and public authorities across borders and sectors, and stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the marine environment.
Integrated Maritime Policy (COM(2007)575final
The Integrated Maritime Policy seeks to provide a more coherent approach to maritime issues, with increased coordination between different policy areas. It focuses on:
Issues that do not fall under a single sector-based policy e.g. “blue growth” (economic growth based on different maritime sectors).
Issues that require the coordination of different sectors and actors e.g. marine knowledge.
Convention on Biological Diversity (UN, 1993)
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives:
The conservation of biological diversity;
The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity;
The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
Sustainable Development Goals Agenda (UN, 2015)
On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
Ocean Governance (Join(2016)49final)
On 10 November 2016, the European Commission and the EU’s High Representative set out a joint agenda for the future of our oceans, proposing 50 actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans in Europe and around the world.
The Joint Communication on international ocean governance builds on a widely shared understanding that the ocean governance framework needs to be strengthened, that pressures on the oceans need to be reduced and that the world’s oceans must be used sustainably. It also stresses that a better understanding about the oceans is necessary to achieve these objectives.
7° Environmental Action Programme (Dec.1386/2013/EU)
In November 2013, the European Parliament and the European Council adopted the 7 th EU Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’. This programme is intended to help guide EU action on the environment and climate change up to and beyond 2020 based on the following vision: ‘In 2050, we live well, within the planet’s ecological limits. Our prosperity and healthy environment stem from an innovative, circular economy where nothing is wasted and where natural resources are managed sustainably, and biodiversity is protected, valued and restored in ways that enhance our society’s resilience. Our low-carbon growth has long been decoupled from resource use, setting the pace for a safe and sustainable global society.’
Circular Economy Package (COM(2015)614final)
The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.
The Circular Economy Package consists of an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy that establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials.
EU Cohesion and Neighborhood Policy (SWD(2015) 500 final)
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) governs the EU’s relations with 16 of the EU’s closest Eastern and Southern Neighbours. To the South: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia and to the East: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Russia takes part in Cross-Border Cooperation activities under the ENP and is not a part of the ENP as such.
The ENP has been launched in 2003 and developed throughout 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours and instead strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all. It is based on the values of democracy, rule of law and respect of human rights.
The ENP was reviewed in 2011, following the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings. However, given the significant developments in the Neighbourhood since 2011, it became essential to undertake a further review of the ENP. In this regard, a Joint Communication setting out the main lines of the review of the ENPSearch for available translations of the preceding has been published on 18 November 2015 following a public consultation, involving partner countries, international organisations, social partners, civil society and academia.
Barcelona Convention (1976, 1995)
The Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (Barcelona Convention) was adopted on 16 February 1976 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Coastal States of the Mediterranean Region for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea, held in Barcelona, in conjunction with two Protocols addressing the prevention of pollution by dumping from ships and aircraft and cooperation in combating pollution in cases of emergency.
These three legal instruments entered into force on the 12th of February 1978. The convention also made provisions for additional legal instruments to be adopted and was soon complemented by the Protocol on pollution from land based sources (1980), the Protocol concerning Specifically Protected Areas (1982), and the Offshore Protocol (1994).
In 1995, the Contracting Parties adopted substantive Amendments to the Barcelona Convention of 1976, renamed Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, and which entered into force in 2004. .
The 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and the European Union.
EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (COM(2012)713final; COM(2014)357final)
The Region is a functional area primarily defined by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas basin. Covering also an important terrestrial surface area, it treats the marine, coastal and terrestrial areas as interconnected systems. With intensified movements of goods, services and peoples owing to Croatia’s accession to the EU and with the prospect of EU accession for other countries in the Region, port hinterlands play a prominent role. Attention to land-sea linkages also highlights impacts of unsustainable land-based activities on coastal areas and marine ecosystems. Home to more than 70 million people, the Region plays a key role in strengthening geographical continuity in Europe. The Strategy builds on the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, which concern eight countries.
The Strategy is defined in a Communication from the European Commission (2014), accompanied by an Action Plan which presents the objectives and concrete pillars and topics of the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy.
European Union | Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean (WESTMED)
Initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean (COM(2017)183final)
The Initiative is based on the Commission’s long-standing experience with sea basin and macro-regional strategies (such as the Atlantic Strategy, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region). It is also based on over two decades of work within the 5+5 Dialogue, which has created strong ties between the participating countries. It also builds on other EU policies linked to the region, such as the European Neighbourhood Policy Review priorities and the recent Communication on International Ocean Governance.
It aims at enabling the EU and neighbouring countries to work across borders to:
– increase safety and security;
– promote sustainable blue growth and jobs; and
– preserve ecosystems and biodiversity in the western Mediterranean.
Common Fisheries Policy (Reg(EU)1380/2013; COM(2011)804final)
The CFP is a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks. Designed to manage a common resource, it gives all European fishing fleets equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds and allows fishermen to compete fairly.
Stocks may be renewable, but they are finite. Some of these fishing stocks, however, are being overfished. As a result, EU countries have taken action to ensure the European fishing industry is sustainable and does not threaten the fish population size and productivity over the long term.
The CFP was first introduced in the 1970s and went through successive updates, the most recent of which took effect on 1 January 2014.
Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture (COM(2013)229final)
European aquaculture offers good quality products, respecting strict environmental sustainability, animal health and consumer protection standards. The excellent
quality of EU seafood should constitute a major competitive advantage for EU aquaculture; however, the EU aquaculture production is stagnating, in contrast with strong growth in other regions of the world.
Aquaculture is one of the pillars of the EU’s Blue Growth Strategy and its development can contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy.
A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism (COM(2014)86final)
In its 2010 Communication, the Commission announced a strategy for sustainable coastal and maritime tourism. The European Parliament, the Council, the Committee of the Regions
and the European Economic and Social Committee welcomed this proposal and emphasised
the need for joint action. A public consultation held in 2012 has given a strong basis for a specific EU initiative. Furthermore, the Blue Growth Communication of 2012
listed coastal and maritime tourism as one of five focus areas for delivering sustainable growth and jobs in the blue economy. The
European Parliament’s 2013 report on Blue Growth welcomed this European framework and
recommended a series of actions to boost the sector and support the development of
sustainable tourism in coastal destinations. The tourism sector is growing and the challenge is to exploit its potential in a way that
sustainably produces economic benefits.
An EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (COM(2013)216final)
In view of the specific and wide ranging nature of climate change impacts on the EU territory,
adaptation measures need to be taken at all levels, from local to regional and national levels.
There is also a role for the European Union to fill both knowledge and action gaps and
complement these efforts through the dedicated EU Strategy.
Energy-related policies (COM(2006)848final; COM(2008)768final; COM(2014)15final); Reg(EU)347/2013)
Several interconnected policies regulate the energy sector (e.g. networks and infrastructures, renevables), also in connection with climate.
Transport-related policies (COM(2009)8final; COM(2009)10final; COM(2013)295final); Reg(EU)1315/2013)
In January 2009, the Commission presented the main strategic objectives for the European maritime transport system up to 2018. The Strategy identifies key areas where action by the EU will strengthen the competitiveness of the sector while enhancing its environmental performance.
Other policies address related issues such as the establishment of a “European maritime transport space without barriers”, the “motorways of the sea” as part of the Trans-European network (TEN-T) and the role of ports as “engine for growth”.
Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe (COM(2012)60final)
The Bioeconomy Strategy and its Action Plan aim to pave the way to a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society that reconciles food security with the sustainable use of renewable resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring environmental protection. They will inform research and innovation agendas in bioeconomy sectors and contribute to a more coherent policy environment, better interrelations between national, EU and global
bioeconomy policies and a more engaged public dialogue. They will seek synergies and respect complementarities with other policy areas, instruments and funding sources, which share and address the same objectives, such as the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies (CAP and CFP), the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), environmental, industrial,
employment, energy and health policies.
The Strategy builds on the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological
Development (FP7) and the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
DIRECTIVES AND OTHER REGULATORY ACTS
Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC)
The Marine Directive aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of the EU’s marine waters by 2020 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. It is the first EU legislative instrument related to the protection of marine biodiversity, as it contains the explicit regulatory objective that “biodiversity is maintained by 2020”, as the cornerstone for achieving GES.
The Directive enshrines in a legislative framework the ecosystem approach to the management of human activities having an impact on the marine environment, integrating the concepts of environmental protection and sustainable use.
Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
European Water Policy has undergone a thorough restructuring process, and now Water Framework Directive adopted in 2000 is the operational tool, setting the objectives for water protection for the present and the future.
The Water Framework Directive has the following key aims:
– expanding the scope of water protection to all waters, surface waters (including coastal waters) and groundwater
– achieving “good status” for all waters by a set deadline
– water management based on river basins
– “combined approach” of emission limit values and quality standards
– getting the prices right
– getting the citizen involved more closely
– streamlining legislation
Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (2014/89/EU)
Competition for maritime space – for renewable energy equipment, aquaculture and other uses – has highlighted the need to manage our waters more coherently. Maritime spatial planning (MSP) works across borders and sectors to ensure human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable way. That is why the European Parliament and the Council have adopted legislation to create a common framework for maritime spatial planning in Europe.
Habitats & Birds Directives (92/43/EEC; 2009/147/EC)
The Habitats Directive ensures the conservation of a wide range of rare, threatened or endemic animal and plant species. Some 200 rare and characteristic habitat types are also targeted for conservation in their own right.
urope is home to more than 500 wild bird species. But at least 32 % of the EU’s bird species are currently not in a good conservation status. The Birds Directive aims to protect all of the 500 wild bird species naturally occurring in the European Union.
Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks entered into force on 26 November 2007. This Directive requires Member States to assess if all water courses and coast lines are at risk from flooding, to map the flood extent and assets and humans at risk in these areas and to take adequate and coordinated measures to reduce this flood risk. With this Directive also reinforces the rights of the public to access this information and to have a say in the planning process.
Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC)
The Renewable Energy Directive establishes an overall policy for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU. It requires the EU to fulfil at least 20% of its total energy needs with renewables by 2020 – to be achieved through the attainment of individual national targets. All EU countries must also ensure that at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.
On 30 November 2016, the Commission published a proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive to make the EU a global leader in renewable energy and ensure that the target of at least 27% renewables in the final energy consumption in the EU by 2030 is met.
Safety Oil & Gas Directive (2013/30/EU)
The majority of oil and gas production in Europe takes place offshore and there are currently over 1000 operations in European waters. Given the EU’s growing energy demand, these operations are crucial for helping ensure a secure supply of energy.
Under the Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Directive, the EU has put in place a set of rules to help prevent accidents, as well as respond promptly and efficiency should one occur:
– before exploration or production begins, companies must prepare a Major Hazard Report for their offshore installation. This report must contain a risk assessment and an emergency response plan
– companies must keep resources at hand in order to put them into operation when necessary
– when granting licenses, EU countries must ensure that companies are well financed and have the necessary technical expertise
– technical solutions which are critical for the safety of operators’ installations must be independently verified. This must be done prior to the installation going into operation
– national authorities must verify safety provisions, environmental protection measures, and the emergency preparedness of rigs and platforms. If companies do not respect the minimum standards, EU countries can impose sanctions, including halting production
– information on how companies and EU countries keep installations safe must be made available for citizens
– companies will be fully liable for environmental damages caused to protected marine species and natural habitats. For damage to marine habitats, the geographical zone will cover all EU marine waters including exclusive economic zones and continental shelves.
Barcelona Convention Protocols
Seven Protocols addressing specific aspects of Mediterranean environmental conservation complete the MAP legal framework:
– Dumping Protocol
The Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft (adopted in 1976, amended in 1995 – amendments not yet in force)
– Hazardous Wastes Protocol
The Protocol on the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (adopted in 1996), entered into force in 2011
– ICZM Protocol
The Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean (adopted in 2008)
– LBS Protocol (including Regional plans under art. 15 of LBS) entered into force in 2011
The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (adopted in 1980, amended in 1996), amendment entered into force in 2008.
– Offshore Protocol
The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil (adopted in 1994), entered into force in 2011
– Prevention and Emergency Protocol
The Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea (adopted 2002, replacing the related Protocol of 1976), entered into force in 2004
– SPA Protocol
The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (adopted in 1995, replacing the related protocol of 1982) and Annexes (adopted in 1996, amended in 2009, 2012 and 2013)