REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC)
1. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires Member States to ensure that measures are taken to achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status (GES) in their seas by 2020. Achieving GES involves protecting the marine environment, preventing its deterioration and restoring it, where practical, while using marine resources sustainably.
2. The UK implements the Directive through the UK Marine Strategy published under the Marine Strategy Regulations 2010 (as amended) which has three parts, and provides associated implementation reports to the European Commission:
a. Part One provides an assessment of marine waters, objectives for GES and targets and indicators to measure progress towards GES (published December 2012 with an update published in October 2019);
b. Part Two sets out the monitoring programmes to monitor progress against the targets and indicators (published August 2014); and
c. Part Three sets out a programme of measures for achieving GES (published December 2015).
3. Under Article 20 of the Directive, the Commission is required to publish a report on the Directive’s implementation by EU Member States. The report (9161/20) covers the implementation of the MSFD during its first implementation cycle from 2008 to 2019 and highlights progress, gaps, key policy messages, challenges and areas for improvement. It builds on earlier cited progress reports published through the first implementation cycle.
4. The report is accompanied by three staff working documents which focus on: key steps and conclusions from the implementation of the MSFD; what is known about the status of EU marine waters based on the 11 MSFD descriptors; and key concepts and guidance for developing an integrated assessment and determination of good environmental status for the second cycle.