Bonus EEIG

BONUS knowledge in policy process

By addressing policy driven research issues and carefully designing themes and timings of the forthcoming calls for research proposals, BONUS can offer a foundation and support for achieving the objectives of several relevant policies and strategies, and help in reaching the good environmental status of the Baltic Sea.

BONUS+ projects' key results to policymakers

Briefing douments highlighting key results of the BONUS+ projects finishing in 2011 have been prepared in October 2011 for policymakers in order to provide quick information about each of the16 projects. On the back cover of each 4-page briefing, 'at a glance' section summarises, 'in bullets' format, the main results making these quick reference points to the latest top Baltic Sea research. Scientific knowledge as a critical part of policy process supports the efforts of ensuring effective ecosystem based management of the Baltic Sea.

Towards synchronising the BONUS research results with key policy processes

The content of the policy driven BONUS strategic research agenda 2011-2017 serves as the basis for a multidisciplinary and transnational research programme in support of knowledge-based decision-making and management action in the Baltic Sea region. Themes of the BONUS calls arise from five mutually interlinked strategic objectives:

1. Understanding the Baltic Sea ecosystem structure and functioning

2. Meeting the multifaceted challenges in linking the Baltic Sea with its coast and catchment area

3. Enhancing sustainable use of coastal and marine goods and services

4. Improving the capabilities of the society to respond to the current and future challenges directed to the Baltic Sea region

5. Developing improved and innovative observation and data management systems, tools and methodologies for marine information needs in the Baltic Sea region  

Synchronisation or arrangement of the themes into an optimal sequence is required and particular policy-driven research needs are best when addressed following a concrete time schedule:

Significant milestones of the key policies


Reform proposals on EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP reform process)


Legal proposals for the future EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) presented


Initial assessment of the current environmental status and the environmental impact of human activities complete; criteria for determining good environmental status as well as environmental targets and associated indicators established (MSFD)


EC first report to the Council and European Parliament on the implementation of the European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research (ESMMR)


Effectiveness of the Baltic Sea Action Plan national programmes evaluated and the progress towards the ecological objectives reviewed. Based on this review the Action Plan adjusted and the set of indicators with associated targets updated (HELCOM BSAP)


HELCOM Red Lists of Baltic habitats and biotope complexes updated; HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea species produced, potential and actual extent of some valuable habitats identified and mapped (HELCOM BSAP)


Ultimate deadline for ratification of the International Convention for Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) by the HELCOM Contracting States (HELCOM BSAP)


Member States to make publicly available relevant information on the special areas of conservation pursuant to the Habitats Directive, special protection areas pursuant to the Birds Directive


 EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) due to be reformed


Commission to report on progress in the establishment of marine protected areas

2014 (July)

Establishment and implementation of a monitoring programme for ongoing assessment and regular updating of targets (MSFD)


Development of a programme of measures designed to achieve or maintain good environmental status (MSFD)


European fish stocks managed at Maximum Sustainable Yields (CFP reform ,Green Paper, commitment by the member states  from the World Summit of Sustainable Development, 2002)


Continuous decline of catches by the European fleet come to end (CFP reform Green Paper, vision)


Next generation of River Basin Management Plans under EU WFD should be fully climate-proofed (Climate Change Adaptation White Paper)


A BSR conference to develop a common approach for the Baltic Sea maritime spatial planning arranged together with relevant stakeholders (VASAB Long Term Perspective, Action Agenda 20, short term perspective)


Each Party of Convention of Biological Diversity has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan ((CBD, Aichi Biodiversity Target)


Creation of intelligent sea transport corridors in the Baltic Sea initiated by activating at least one pilot project for a corridor with high traffic volumes in an environmentally sensitive area (VASAB Long Term Perspective, Action Agenda 15, short/medium perspective)


Maritime spatial planning demonstration projects for some Baltic Sea areas of severe use conflicts (e.g. Gulf of Finland, Gulf and Sea of Bothnia including archipelagos, Gulf of Riga, Norra Kvarken, Danish straits) prepared and implemented (VASAB Long Term Perspective, Action Agenda 21, short/medium perspective)


Entry into operation of the programme of measures designed to achieve or maintain good environmental status (MSFD)


The Commission to publish a first evaluation report on the implementation of MSFD


Achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment (MFSD)


Full-scale return to sustainable and profitable European fisheries (CFP reform Green Paper, vision)


Share of renewable energy sources in EU energy budget shall reach 20%, with significant contribution of offshore wind farms (Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy)


All fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches [by the CBD Parties], so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits (CBD, Aichi Biodiversity Target)


Good environmental status in the Baltic Sea achieved (HELCOM BSAP)

2023 (July)

The Commission to review Marine Strategy Framework Directive and propose any necessary amendments (MSFD)


The BONUS Secretariat will update this table regularly with the most up-to-date information related to the significant milestones of key policy developments. Please email the BONUS Secretariat at bonus(at) with any additional information you would like to see included.