Towards an Integrated Maritime Policy for better governance in the Mediterranean

The extensive public consultation that led to the adoption of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy in 2007 largely supported the concept that increased economic maritime activity and environmental protection can go hand in hand and develop a symbiotic relationship as long as proper governance and crosscutting mechanisms are in place.

The Mediterranean is a prime example of a maritime region where human activity could bring higher economic returns from the sea with a far lesser impact on the ecosystem. Yet, the reality is one of over twenty coastal States with uneven levels of economic development and administrative capacities and important political disagreements, including on the delimitation of territorial and maritime spaces. Unlike other semienclosed seas such as the Baltic or the Black Sea, a large part of the Mediterranean Sea remains High Seas waters, thereby raising specific governance issues.

Seven of the coastal States are EU members, two are candidate countries and three are potential candidate countries covered by the EU’s Enlargement Policy. The rest have strong and well-established relationships with the EU, mostly through the European Neighbourhood Policy. All but one are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.

This Communication highlights the mechanisms and tools that should be mobilised to achieve an integrated approach to governing maritime activities in the Mediterranean sea-basin. It is meant to complement the various sectoral actions that the EU promotes in the Mediterranean area. While the Integrated Maritime Policy is primarily addressed to Member States, this Communication calls for an overall stronger co-operation with non-EU Mediterranean partners at the appropriate levels.

Read the full publication in PDF format by clicking here.

Citation: Towards an Integrated Maritime Policy for better governance in the Mediterranean, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, 2010, ISBN: 978-92-79-14371-7, DOI: 10.2771/22665

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