Skip to main content
EU Science Hub
News article3 August 20182 min read

Healthy European Oceans and Seas: the JRC continues to provide essential support to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe.
The EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe.
© damedias –

A new European Commission report shows that EU Member States have made considerable efforts to address pressures on the marine environment. Despite this, the measures reported in 2016 are not yet sufficient to achieve good, healthy and productive seas by 2020.

In the report and its annex the Commission makes a number of general and specific recommendations to Member States, guiding them on next steps.

Prior Member States reports on the state of marine environment in 2012 had a low degree of consistency and coherence, denoting also scarce coordination at regional level. A low degree of comparability hampers coordinated action and makes analysis difficult.

As Member States report this year to the Commission for the second time on the state of their marine waters, and communicate their targets for maintenance on achievement of Good Environmental Status, the Commission hopes that, this time around, the exercise will provide more harmonised information across Member States, at European and Regional Sea level.

The JRC has considerably contributed to this objective, by supporting the drafting of the Commission Decision (EU) 2017 848, describing the criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters, and the specifications and standardised methods for monitoring and assessment. More recently, JRC has provided reference lists for reporting on biodiversity, non-indigenous species, eutrophication and contaminants; those lists have been made available on the European Environment Agency's European Environment Information and Observation Network (EEA-EIONET) website.

The JRC's reference lists will improve the harmonisation of reporting at the Union and regional level, thus improving the quality and consistency of the information reported, and facilitating the assessment by the Commission under the provisions of art.12 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Further information

Related Content


Publication date
3 August 2018