European Union policy instruments with relevance to the Baltic Sea

EU Framework Directives

EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)
From 2008, the environmental component of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. It establishes a framework within which the EU member states shall take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status (GES) in the marine environment by 2020.

EU Waste Framework Directive
From 2006, revised in 2008, presents a comprehensive framework of requirements of waste management for the EU Member states.

Water Framework Directive (WFD)
From 2000, commits EU’s Member States to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies (including marine waters up to one nautical mile from the baseline of territorial waters) by 2015.

Both the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework Directive integrate a number of other, more specific EU directives issued earlier.

Directives before 2000

Amsterdam Treaty, strengthens previous environmentally orientated declarations, sets environmental policy objectives by explicitly stating, as Community tasks, ‘a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment’.

Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) concerning the protection of waters from pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources.

Directive on Aquaculture Animals and Products (91/67/EEC) aims to increase productivity, introduce health rules, and limit the spread of infections and contagious diseases.

1985/ 1997
Environmental Impact Directive (85/337/EEC amended by 97/11/EC) requires developer to provide information to competent authority about likely significant environmental effects.

1983/ 2002
Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), applying to fisheries and aquaculture, focuses on conservation of resources and control of fishing activities, structural measures for adapting and modernizing the sector, market measures and commercial policy and external policy relating to fisheries. In the year 2002 there was a reform made to the CFP (2371/2002/EC)

Directive on Shellfish Growing Waters (79/923/EEC) aims to protect and, where necessary, improve the quality of waters where shellfish grow and to contribute to the high quality of directly edible shellfish products.

Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (79/409/EEC) establishes special conservation measures to protect habitats of rare or vulnerable species including migrants.

Directive on Dangerous Substances (76/464/EEC) aims to reduce or eliminate pollution from chemicals.

Directive on Bathing Water (76/160/EEC) sets cleanliness standards for bathing water.

Other EU policy instruments

EU Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP)
From 2007, focuses on implementing and further developing maritime policies, strategies and cross-cutting policymaking tools; enhancing integrated maritime spatial planning and coastal zone management and further developing and integrating maritime surveillance and monitoring methodologies.

EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
Currently under reform. The green paper issued by the Commission in 2009 draws a vision of European fisheries of 2020, among other, by restoring Europe’s fish stocks to maximum sustainable yields (MSY), and promoting sustainable and more prosperous fishing and aquaculture industries.

EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Due to be reformed by 2013. The Commission presented in November 2010 a communication on "The CAP towards 2020", which outlines options for the future CAP. The aim is that, through its response to the new economic, social, environmental, climate-related and technological challenges facing our society, the CAP can contribute more to developing intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth. One of the main objectives for the future CAP is sustainable management of natural resources in order to enable agriculture to respond to climate change. It calls for sustainable production practices and enhanced provision of environmental public goods, green growth through innovation and climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)
From 2009, aims to make Baltic Sea region an environmentally sustainable; prosperous; accessible and attractive; and secure and safe region. EUSBSR is subdivided into 15 priority areas each implemented through the flagship projects, and several cross-cutting horizontal actions e.g. development of integrated maritime governance structures and maritime and land-based spatial planning.

European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET)
A tool for implementing the EU Integrated Marine Policy.
EU Maritime Spatial Planning
Supports authorities and stakeholders to coordinate their actions and optimise the use of marine space for the benefit of economic development and the marine environment.

Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action (2009)
A white paper by the EU Commission calling for a strategic approach to ensure that the adaptation measures to climate change take place timely, efficiently and coherently across different sectors of economy and levels of governance.