Regional Sea Convention
Analysis of Regional Sea Convention needs ensuring better coherence of approaches under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
Client: DG Environment
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the four European Regional Seas Conventions (RSCs) - the Barcelona Convention, the Black Sea Convention, the Helsinki Convention, and the OSPAR Convention - pursue the common general aim of improving the state of the environment of the European regional seas.
The MSFD envisages an important role of the RSCs in implementing the Directive and, in particular, in ensuring regional and cross-regional coherence of implementation. The MSFD stipulates that ‘where practical and appropriate’ the RSCs should be used to ensure coordination among Member States and with third countries in the development of marine strategies; at the same time, the MSFD should contribute to the fulfilment of the ‘obligations and important commitments’ of the EU and/or its Member States’ under the RSCs.
Milieu leads one of the three Consortia selected for the award of a two-year framework contract, renewable once, for services related to coordination between the different marine regions in implementing the ecosystem approach. Under this framework contract, Milieu has been awarded a study for the European Commission (DG Environment) to analyse the existing and potential future contributions which the RSCs make to support the coherence of the implementation of the MSFD.
The aim of the study was to identify the most important respective support needs of the RSCs, in order to focus future support from the EU to the RSCs, through developing an outline of corresponding support options and a work-plan for implementing these support options.
The project took stock of the contributions of the RSCs to the implementation of the MSFD so far and the respective resources and plans of the RSCs. Based on this analysis, the key requirements of the MSFD, a survey of the main stakeholders, and a number of interviews, the study identified the most important areas in which the RSCs can contribute to better and more coherent implementation of the MSFD in the future and their respective support needs.