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Opinion Number: CDR 292/2021
Rapporteur: Nohren Emma
Commission: ENVE
Status: Adopted
Date: 07/05/2021
This Opinion highlights the shortcomings happened in the first implementation cycle of the MSFD. The lack of LRAs involvement resulted in low action to achieve the 2020 target of "Good Environmental Status".
The opinion suggests to EU institutions actions to address these shortcomings to make the next implementation cycle more successful. This includes harmonising EU marine policy (MSFD, CFP – Common Fisheries Policy, Biodiversity Strategy, and upcoming Commission's proposals).
Impact is not available, yet.

 is deeply concerned that the EU's marine environment did not achieve Good Environmental Status by 2020 and strongly supports the Commission proposal to create a coherent network of effectively managed Marine Protected Areas covering 30% of EU seas, including through fish stock recovery areas, as provided for under the Common Fisheries Policy, and areas where the most destructive fishing techniques and economic activities are restricted;

 stresses the need to recognise the role of subnational authorities in the MSFD implementation; and calls on the Commission to propose rules for MSs on how to integrate these authorities into the process of identifying, designing and planning measures, clarifying responsibilities and fostering more engagement and ownership from subnational authorities;

 calls on the Commission to propose an ocean law, in the same spirit as the climate law;

 urges the Commission to include clear, measurable targets with accompanying deadlines in its action plan to conserve fisheries resources and protect marine ecosystems in line with the UN CBD COP15's post-2020 global biodiversity policy framework, which is to be published in 2021;

 stresses that the true value of nature and biodiversity needs to be fully taken into account when we rebuild our economy through green recovery and resilience plans; underlines that investments in the marine environment can bring short-term socio-economic and medium- to long-term environmental benefits;

 calls on the Commission to put subsidiarity into action and create a 2030 European Marine Biodiversity Task Force, i.e. a pool of operational environmental project managers available to subnational authorities;

 strongly believes that all kinds of harmful subsidies in fisheries that contribute to excess fishing capacity, overfishing, climate change and ocean acidification must end and calls for a removal of the exemption for fuel used in fishing in the Energy Taxation Directive;

 calls on the Commission to propose EU rules on quota obligations for recycled nutrients in fertilisers marketed in the EU.



Zero pollution and Biodiversity: First ever EU-wide limits for underwater noise

EU experts have adopted recommendations on maximum acceptable levels for impulsive (for example from oil and gas exploration and extraction) and continuous (such as from shipping) underwater noise.

The CoR opinion on Local and regional authorities protecting the marine environment included references to noise.

29 Nov

Environmental status assessment of Mediterranean Sea finds notable differences between ecoregions

Environmental status assessment of Mediterranean Sea finds notable differences between ecoregions

28 Sep

Expert Workshop on the Territorial Impact Assessment of the Review of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The CoR Rapporteur, Emma NOHRÈN (SE/Greens) participated to the Expert Workshop on the Territorial Impact Assessment of the Review of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

13 Jun

European Maritime Day

The European Maritime Day is the annual two-day event during which Europe’s maritime community meet to network, discuss and outline joint action on maritime affairs and sustainable blue economy.

19 May

Participation to "The role of academies of science in Climate Change policy actions" - COP26 event

The rapporteur joint the panelists in a discussion at the South Africa pavilion in the Blue Zone of COP26 in Glasgow to discuss on the role of science in climate change policy action.
Science-based decisions represent the strongest arguments for political leaders, and especially for those closest to the citizens, that need to explain their choices every day. This is why the European Committee of the Regions puts science, and more concretely, climate science, in the center of the decision-making.

05 Nov

MEP Catherine Chabaud (FR/RE) commented on the Opinion during the CoR Plenary

The rapporteur of the EP report on marine litter shared her positive comments on the CoR Opinion on the protection of marine environment by subnational authorities in teh EU. In particular, Ms Chabaud (FR/RE) appreciated the proposal for an Ocean Law and the idea of an EU Ocean Academy.
The former, would be an overarching strategy with clear targets and milestones to reduce marine pollution and restore marine ecosystems. The latter would consist of young scholars from all Member States with good communication skills who, in cooperation with universities, inspire and continuously disseminate new knowledge and information about the importance of healthy oceans, the links between the marine environment and other policies, possible measures and best practices.

The MEP invited the CoR rapporteur to further discuss the proposal to classify seas and oceans as a public good, as well as to create an European Ocean Agency.

06 May
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