Europe’s seas provide important economic, environmental and social benefits including healthy, secure food supplies and other resources, and employment in coastal communities. At the same time, seas are subject to competing human and environmental pressures, including pollution by nutrient enrichment and contaminants, overfishing, damage to seafloor habitats, the introduction of non-indigenous species, litter, and climate change.

In 2008, the EU adopted the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which aims to achieve Good Environmental Status of its marine waters and protecting the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. The MSFD complements other key policies, including the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive (MSPD), and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), in ensuring the sustainable development of the EU maritime economy.

Service contract to support the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC)

Since 2010, Milieu has been leading the consortium that is supporting the European Commission in the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

The consortium has focused on various key areas, including supporting CIS meetings, providing assistance to Technical Groups, helping the Commission assess Member States’ reports, offering continuous technical support for electronic tools, contributing to the MSFD evaluation, aiding communication and dissemination, collaborating on data visualization, and providing ad hoc assistance on legal, policy, and technical matters.

The technical reports Milieu has produced since 2010 are available online.

Study on Integrating an Ecosystem-based Approach into Maritime Spatial Planning (2014/89/EU)

Directive 2014/89/EU calls on EU Member States to put in place maritime spatial planning – and moreover, to ensure that the ecosystem-based approach (EBA) is integrated into this planning. The goal of this contract was to support Member States by preparing a practical method for the integration of EBA into MSP.

Milieu contributed to all tasks, including drafting of key sections of the critical analysis and the guidelines for the application of EBA in MSP for EU Member States. Milieu assessed how other EU instruments – especially the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive – can be used to support EBA. Moreover, Milieu coordinated the elaboration of case studies using an EBA and organised the project workshops. As consortium leader, Milieu also carried out QA and proofreading of all project deliverables.

Mission ocean, seas and waters implementation support platform – overall Mission coordination and monitoring; European Blue parks technical assistance; citizen engagement; communication

Within this project, Milieu is leading the task on the design and then the implementation of a monitoring and progress-tracking system of the Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 activities and results. Milieu and partners are developing a database containing all the data and information harvested through the monitoring system to feed into a dashboard, that will enable the visualization of the monitoring system via an online portal presenting the results of the Mission’s progress.

Milieu also took part in the Baseline study for the implementation of lighthouses of Mission ‘Restore our ocean and waters by 2030’, for which it led the task on the preparation of baseline information for the three lighthouse areas. The aim of the Mission was to roll out ‘lighthouses’ in major European sea and river basins, as the Mission sites. Lighthouses will act as hubs and platforms for the development, demonstration and deployment of solutions to those challenges.