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Procedure : 2017/2055(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0399/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0399/2017

Debates :

PV 15/01/2018 - 17
CRE 15/01/2018 - 17

Votes :

PV 16/01/2018 - 5.4

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0004

Texts adopted
PDF 307k
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 - Strasbourg Provisional edition
International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0004A8-0399/2017

European Parliament resolution of 16 January 2018 on international ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 SDGs (2017/2055(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 10 November 2016 on ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’ (JOIN(2016)0049),

–  having regard to the draft Council conclusions of 24 March 2017 on ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’,

–  having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 29 March 2017 on the Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’ (JOIN(2016)0049)(1) ,

–  having regard to the document adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 25 September 2015 entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included therein,

–  having regard to Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 14), which encourages the conservation and sustainable exploitation of the oceans, seas and marine resources for purposes of sustainable development;

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2015 Paris Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016 and its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions,

–  having regard to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which entered into force on 29 December 1993, and the Aichi targets of the Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity 2011-2020, adopted in October 2010,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), being complemented by the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of UNCLOS relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, United Nations Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the European Union Common Fisheries Policy,

–  having regard to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) of 3 March 1973,

–  having regard to Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the document adopted at the UN Ocean Conference on 9 June 2017 in New York entitled ‘Our Ocean, Our Future: Call for Action’,

–  having regard to Directive 2013/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on safety of offshore oil and gas operations,

—  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 December 2015 entitled ‘Closing the loop – An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy’ (COM(2015)0614),

–  having regard to its negotiation mandate of 14 March 2017 on the waste package(2) (proposals for amending Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives(3) , Directive 94/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste(4) , Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste(5) , Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on end-of-life vehicles(6) , Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators and repealing Directive 91/157/EEC(7) , and Directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)(8) ),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy,

–  having regard to Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive),

—  having regard to the European Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy of 2007 (COM(2007)0575) and to the 2012 Progress Report thereon (COM(2012)0491),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1255/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2011 establishing a Programme to support the further development of an Integrated Maritime Policy(9) ,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 15 October 2009 entitled ‘Developing the international dimension of the Integrated Maritime Policy of the European Union’ (COM(2009)0536),

—  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/1625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2016 amending Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency(10) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning(11) ,

—  having regard to the European Union Maritime Security Strategy adopted by the European Council on 24 June 2014,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2015/757 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport, and amending Directive 2009/16/EC(12) ,

–  having regard to its negotiation mandate of 15 February 2017 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments(13) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 March 2017 on an integrated European Union policy for the Arctic(14) ,

–  having regard to Directive 2012/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels and the ongoing impact assessment on the extension of the Sulphur Emission Control Areas within the European Waters,

–  having regard to the proposal of Baltic Sea and North Sea countries to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to introduce designated Nitrogen Oxide Emission Control Areas (NECAs),

–  having regard to Directive 2000/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2000 on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues,

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 December 2016 on liability, compensation and financial security for offshore oil and gas operations(15) ,

–  having regard to the European Academies Science Advisory Council policy report of 28 January 2016 on ‘Marine sustainability in an age of changing oceans and seas’,

–  having regard to the study of November 2015 prepared at request of Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on ‘Emission Reduction Targets for International Aviation and Shipping’ (PE 569.964),

–  having regard to the Annex on ‘Action to boost the clean energy transition’ to the Commission communication on ‘Clean Energy For All Europeans’ (COM(2016)0860);

–  having regard to the fourth edition of the ‘Our Ocean Conference’, hosted by the European Union in Malta on 5 and 6 October 2017;

—  having regard to its resolution of 21 October 2010 on Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) – Evaluation of progress made and new challenges(16) ,

—  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 February 2014 entitled ‘A European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism’ (COM(2014)0086),

—  having regard to the Council conclusions on ‘Priorities for the EU’s maritime transport policy until 2020: Competitiveness, Decarbonisation, Digitalisation to ensure global connectivity, an efficient internal market and a world-class maritime cluster’ (9976/17),

–  having regard to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) report on ‘Marine protected areas in Europe’s seas’ (EEA 3/2015),

–  having regard to the Commission study of September 2017 entitled ‘Realising the potential of the outermost regions for sustainable blue growth’,

–  having regard to the 1992 Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment in the Baltic Sea Area which entered into force on 17 January 2000, HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, adopted by all the coastal states and the EU in 2007, and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region,

–  having regard to Resolution 69/292 adopted by the UN General Assembly in June 2015 on the development of an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 September 2012 entitled ‘Blue Growth: opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth’ (COM(2012)0494),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 January 2014 on Blue Energy: Action needed to deliver on the potential of ocean energy in European seas and oceans by 2020 and beyond (COM(2014)0008),

—  having regard to its resolution of 2 July 2013 on Blue Growth: Enhancing sustainable growth in the EU’s marine, maritime transport and tourism sectors(17) ,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the Committee on Fisheries (A8-0399/2017),

A.  whereas it is widely agreed that the environmental health of the oceans is under significant threat and at risk of being irreversibly damaged unless targeted and coordinated efforts are undertaken by the world community;

B.  whereas the accumulation and dissemination of marine litter may be one of the fastest growing threats to the health of the world’s oceans; whereas microplastics are of particular concern because their small size renders them accessible to a wide range of organisms (seabirds, fish, mussels, lugworms and zooplankton); whereas the estimated 150 million tonnes of plastics that have accumulated in the world’s oceans causes serious environmental and economic damage, including to coastal communities, tourism, shipping and fishing;

C.  whereas current pressures on the marine environment include damage to habitats and ecosystems, persistent hazardous substances in sediments and waterbodies, degradation of coral barrier reefs, invasive species, pollution and nutrient enrichment and maritime traffic, as well as exploitation of raw materials and overexploitation of marine species, acidification, and warming of waters induced by climate change;

D.  whereas about 4,8 million to 12,7 million tonnes of plastic debris such as food packaging and plastic bottles were washed offshore in 2010 alone(18) , corresponding to some 1,5 % to 4,5 % of the world’s total plastic production, and the cumulative amount of waste will lead to a tenfold increase in the total amount of plastic discarded into the sea by 2020;

E.  whereas ‘litter’ means waste of small size in publicly accessible areas that has been improperly discarded in the environment (on the land, in fresh water and in the sea), whether wilfully or by negligence;

F.  whereas more than 100 tonnes of plastic waste and microplastics are polluting and threatening the life of our oceans;

G.  whereas without significant changes, by the year 2100 more than half of the world’s marine species may stand on the brink of extinction;

H.  whereas the use of plastics for consumer products has become increasingly widespread, and production has steadily increased since the material was first put into wide use half a century ago, resulting in about 322 million tonnes of plastic being manufactured globally in 2015; whereas increasing production combined with both changes in the way we use plastic and demographic developments have led to an increase in the amount of plastic debris dumped in our oceans; whereas if this trend continues, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), almost 33 billion tonnes of plastic will have accumulated by 2050;

I.  whereas 80 % of marine litter emanates from the land and, therefore, the marine litter problem cannot be tackled effectively over time without first addressing the issues of effective policy and action to reduce and contain litter on the land;

J.  whereas the most common forms of debris are cigarette filters, plastic bags, fishing equipment such as nets, and all types of packaging; whereas between 60 % and 90 % of marine debris has been manufactured using one or more plastic polymers, such as polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), all of which have an extremely long degradation time; whereas as a result the majority of plastics manufactured today will take decades or even centuries to disappear;

K.  whereas plastic waste causes death and disease to marine wildlife through suffocation, entanglement and intoxication; whereas plastic materials broken up by waves and sunlight to form microparticles that are less than 5 mm in diameter end up in the stomach of marine creatures such as mussels, worms and zooplankton, while nanoplastics that are barely half a millimetre in size penetrate the cell membranes and nuclei of small marine animals; whereas plastic debris that is invisible to the naked eye enters the food chain at its very source;

L.  whereas according to the UNEP, the estimated natural capital cost of marine plastic debris amounts to approximately USD 8 billion a year(19) , and fishing, marine transport, tourism and the leisure industry are just some of the many sectors affected by marine pollution;

M.  whereas until there is an internationally agreed definition of biodegradability (in the marine environment), the adoption of plastic products labelled as ‘biodegradable’ will not bring about a significant decrease, either in the quantity of plastic entering the oceans, or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment;

N.  whereas nutrient pollution (eutrophication) coming from diverse sources, including agricultural run-off and sewage and wastewater discharges, overloads marine environments with high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients, which can produce large algal blooms, the decomposition of which after they die consumes oxygen while creating hypoxic, or oxygen-depleted, ‘dead zones’ where fish and other marine life cannot thrive; whereas an estimated 500 dead zones now exist in the world and many more areas suffer the adverse effects of high nutrient pollution;

O.  whereas owing to their extreme reliance on underwater sounds for basic life functions such as searching for food and mates and the absence of any mechanism to safeguard them against it, marine creatures are threatened by industrial noise from shipping, seismic exploration, and naval sonar used for routine training exercises, which can result in hearing damage, masking their communication and navigation signals, as well as leading to physiological and reproductive problems;

P.  whereas the loss of marine biodiversity is weakening the ocean ecosystem and its ability to withstand disturbances, adapt to climate change and play its role as a global ecological and climate regulator; whereas climate change due to human activity has a direct impact on marine species by altering their abundance, diversity and distribution and affecting their feeding, development and breeding, as well as the relationships between species;

Q.  whereas the trans-boundary nature of the ocean means that activities and the pressures that they cause necessitate collaborative work between governments across marine regions to ensure the sustainability of shared resources; whereas the multiplicity and complexity of ocean governance measures therefore necessitate a broad range of interdisciplinary expertise, as well as regional and international cooperation;

R.  whereas the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of European Union Member States extend over 25,6 million km2 , virtually all of which area is located in the Outermost Regions and the Overseas Countries and Territories, making the European Union the largest maritime area in the world; whereas the EU therefore has a duty to play a leading role in establishing effective and ambitious international governance of the oceans;

S.  whereas it has been researched that direct impacts of an oil spill on marine organisms and biological systems and processes could include behavioural disturbances and death of marine species, microbial blooms, hypoxia (lowering of oxygen concentrations in water), toxic effects of chemicals used to disperse oil, and the death of deep-sea corals;

T.  whereas maritime transport has an impact on the global climate and on air quality, as a result of CO2 emissions and also of non-CO2 emissions including nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, methane, particulate matter and black carbon;

U.  whereas prospecting, drilling, and the transport of oil and gas reserves located under the sea floor in many parts of the world can seriously damage sensitive marine areas and disturb marine species; whereas in many cases, oil and gas exploration and drilling are permitted in or near Marine Protected Areas (MPAs);

V.  whereas Article 191 TFEU commits the Union to a high level of protection in its environmental policy, including through the application of the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle;

W.  whereas the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic maritime transport are multiple: in the event of spills, the highly dense fuel emulsifies, sinks and can travel extremely long distances if it gets trapped in ice; spilled HFO poses enormous risks to the food security of Arctic indigenous communities, whose subsistence depends on fishing and hunting; combustion of HFO produces sulphur oxides and heavy metals, as well as large amounts of black carbon, which, when deposited on Arctic ice, stimulates the absorption of heat into the ice mass, accelerating the melting process and the effects of climate change; whereas the transport and use of HFO is prohibited by the IMO in the waters surrounding the Antarctic;

X.  whereas nitrogen oxide emissions, especially in port cities and coastal areas, are to a large extent generated by shipping and are a major concern for public health and environmental protection in Europe; whereas overall nitrogen oxide emissions from shipping in the EU remain largely unregulated and it is estimated that if left unabated they will surpass land-based nitrogen oxide emissions as early as 2020(20) ;

Y.  whereas, when anchored in ports, ships usually use their auxiliary engines to generate electrical power for communications, lighting, ventilation and other on-board equipment; whereas this fuel burning is associated with emissions of a range of pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2 ), nitrogen oxides (NOx), black carbon and particulate matter (PM);

Z.  whereas shore side electricity (SSE) involves connecting ships to the port electricity network while they are at berth; whereas in the vast majority of locations, the energy mix used to produce SSE results in fewer emissions than burning fuel on the ships themselves(21) ; whereas current legislation such as the Sulphur Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/802) clearly recognises the use of SSE as an alternative to the requirement of using low-sulphur marine fuel, while the Directive 2014/94/EU on the Deployment of an Alternative Fuel Infrastructure requires Member States to ensure that SSE supply is installed as a matter of priority in ports belonging to the TEN-T Core Network, and in other ports, by 31 December 2025;

AA.  whereas, according to the scientific evidence presented in the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), for 2014, of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the warming of the climate system is unequivocal, climate change is occurring and human activities have been the predominant cause of the warming observed since the middle of the 20th century, the widespread and substantial climate change impacts of which have already become evident in natural and human systems, on all continents and across the oceans;

AB.  whereas almost 90 % of global wind energy is contained in the turbulence above the world’s oceans, and winds, waves and currents together contain 300 times more energy than humans are currently consuming; whereas according to the 2010 report of the European Ocean Energy Association (EU-OEA) installed ocean energy could reach 3.6 GW by 2030, rising to nearly 188 GW by mid-century, while in 2050 a world-leading ocean energy industry in Europe could prevent 136,3 million tonnes of CO2 per year from being emitted into the atmosphere and create 470 000 new green jobs;

AC.  whereas in 2015 the IPCC stated that in order to limit climate change to 2 °C in the period until the end of this century, one third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and more than 80 % of coal reserves must remain unexploited;

AD.  whereas the Paris Agreement aims at a ‘global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible’, in order to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and the pursuit of efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5 °C, while the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) recently reported that global warming rose to a remarkable 1,1 °C above pre-industrial levels in 2016;

AE.  whereas failing to meet the Paris Agreement’s objective of an average temperature increase of well below 2 ºC would have enormous environmental impacts and economic costs, including among other things, increasing the likelihood of reaching tipping points at which temperature levels would begin to limit nature’s ability to absorb carbon into the oceans;

AF.  whereas the potential in terms of clean energy possessed by marine wind power and ocean energy (wave power, tidal power and the thermal energy of the seas) should be noted, on condition that the environment and existing ecosystems are respected; whereas this clean energy gives the EU the opportunity not only to generate economic growth and to create skilled jobs, but also to improve the security of its energy supply and become more competitive thanks to technological innovation;

AG.  whereas improving ocean governance will help create a global level playing field for business, including the European ocean energy sector;

AH.  whereas marine pollution – for example the direct or indirect dumping of waste, substances or energy, including the introduction of submarine noise sources of human origin – has, or may have, a harmful impact on living resources and marine ecosystems, impoverishing biodiversity, endangering human health, creating obstacles to maritime activities and altering water quality;

AI.  whereas the EU should play a leading role in discussions and negotiations in international fora with a view to ensuring that all parties concerned accept their responsibilities, in terms of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases or pollutants, and face up to the growing challenges of sustainable resource management;

AJ.  whereas the exploitation of marine renewable energy could contribute to the objective of energy autonomy on small islands in the EU;

AK.  whereas transparency in international organisations is a key feature to ensure democratic accountability and inclusiveness;

AL.  whereas the seas and oceans have the potential to become major sources of clean energy; whereas such renewable marine energy gives the EU the opportunity not only to generate economic growth and to create skilled jobs, but also to improve the security of its energy supply and become more competitive thanks to technological innovation; whereas the exploitation of this local resource has a particularly important dimension for island states and regions, particularly the outermost regions, where ocean energy could contribute towards energy self-sufficiency and replace energy produced at high cost by diesel power stations;

Improving the international ocean governance framework

1.  Recalls the essential role of oceans and seas in supporting life on earth, sustainable development, employment and innovation, as well as in providing recreational uses and amenities; shares the growing concern over the need for a more effective and integrated governance and protection of the oceans;

2.  Welcomes the joint communication on international ocean governance and the actions proposed, which highlight the EU’s commitment to achieving the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and seas and marine resources as identified in SDG 14 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; recognises the cross-cutting nature of the subject and the need for a coordinated and integrated approach to ensure better ocean governance; calls for the EU to take a leading role as global actor to strengthen international ocean governance and fill the gaps, thanks to its expertise acquired in developing a sustainable approach to oceans’ management;

3.  Recalls the integrated and indivisible character of all the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the interlinkages and synergies between them, and reiterates the critical importance of all EU actions being guided by the 2030 Agenda, including the principles reaffirmed therein;

4.  Calls on the Commission to set clear deadlines, put forward legislative proposals where appropriate, and work with Member States in order to improve cooperation in areas such as ocean research, capacity-building and technology transfer, and to set up mechanisms to support coordination, as well as ongoing monitoring and evaluation at EU level, in order to successfully implement the actions listed in the joint communication; highlights the Treaty provisions on the precautionary and polluter pays principles, and stresses the importance of the ecosystem-based approach in all EU actions on ocean governance;

5.  Reiterates the strong maritime dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly for, but not limited to, Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources);

6.  Welcomes and fully endorses the document ‘Our ocean, our future: Call for Action’ adopted by the UN Ocean Conference in June 2017, in support of the implementation of SDG 14 to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; notes with great satisfaction the 1 328 voluntary commitments by governments, other intergovernmental and civil society organisations, the private sector, academic and research institutions and the scientific community towards ocean conservation and raising awareness about the importance of the oceans to human survival;

7.  Recalls that the European Union has a comprehensive assemblage of legislation and management tools focused on distinct elements of ocean governance, but that nonetheless EU regional seas remain in a critical state, with overexploitation of resources, organic and inorganic pollutants impacting ocean health and productivity, biodiversity loss, degraded habitats, invasive species, declining coastal communities, and conflict between marine sectors;

8.  Calls on the Commission to follow up the joint communication on ocean governance by publishing a progress report on the measures reviewed and a precise timetable for future measures, establishing links between these measures and existing European initiatives, as well as existing international instruments;

9.  Encourages the Commission to propose, where appropriate, initiatives to the Council on developing ocean partnerships with key international partners, in order to foster the goal of improved global governance and policy coherence, and to build on existing bilateral cooperation frameworks such as the High Level Dialogues on Fisheries and Maritime Affairs;

10.  Recognises the key role of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in providing a basic legal framework by which to coordinate efforts and achieve coherence in addressing global ocean-related issues; urges coastal Member States to respect their duty under UNCLOS to protect and conserve the marine environment and its living resources and their duty to prevent and control marine pollution; notes that Member States are liable for damage caused by violation of their international obligations to combat such pollution;

11.  Calls on states to improve their legal systems for the preservation of our oceans; calls for international recognition of the concept of ecological harm where marine pollution occurs, so that compensation can be claimed when an infringement is found to have been committed; calls for the introduction of the chain-of-responsibilities principle, which is designed to determine those responsible for the environmental damage caused along the entire chain of command;

12.  Stresses that the EU should seek to ensure that provisions on fishery play an important part in the future legally binding instrument under UNCLOS as regards the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction;

13.  Urges all states to become party to the relevant fisheries instruments, in particular the FAO Compliance Agreement, the UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, and the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), as well as to fully implement the provisions of these instruments and other FAO international plans of action;

14.  Welcomes the progress made by the EU with regard to the external dimension of the CFP; stresses that this dimension, including international and partnership agreements, is an important instrument by means of which to promote the EU’s environmental and social standards and its provisions for combating IUU fishing at international level;

15.  Notes that the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FITI) has recently adopted its global standard; encourages states to apply for FITI membership; calls on the EU and its Member States to support this initiative;

16.  Is of the opinion that securing a level playing field for the EU fishing fleet is of the utmost importance, especially considering the EU’s high environmental standards and the sustainability standards that its vessels have to apply;

17.  Insists that the EU promote the same environmental standards for fishing in international fora, and in all bilateral cooperation, as those that must be upheld by EU vessels, so as not to put its own fleet at a disadvantage in terms of environmental sustainability;

18.  Recalls UN Resolution 2749 (XXV) of 17 December 1970, which recognises that ‘the sea-bed and ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, as well as the resources of the area, are the common heritage of mankind’, and Article 136 of the Montego Bay Convention, which stipulates that ‘the sea-bed and ocean floor beyond the limits of international jurisdiction, and its resources, form part of the common heritage of mankind’;

19.  Calls on the Commission to encourage Member States to cease subsidising licences for mining prospecting and extraction in areas beyond national jurisdiction and issuing permits for mining of their continental shelves;

20.  Notes, furthermore, with regard to the international law on air pollution that, under UNCLOS, Member States are not permitted to inspect ships, even in cases of solid evidence of infringement; calls, therefore, on the UN parties to enhance the legal framework of UNCLOS with the aim of addressing any existing governance gaps and of establishing robust enforcement mechanisms for international environmental law;

21.  Calls for the international regulation of measures against nuclear waste and pollution in the oceans and the seabed, with a view to the implementation of practical measures to limit their environmental and health impact and to eliminate pollution of the seabed;

22.  Stresses that ensuring transparency, including public access to information, stakeholder involvement, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters as required under the Aarhus Convention, as well as the legitimacy of UN organisations, including public accountability of country representatives on international bodies, such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA), is a matter of priority in addressing existing governance shortcomings; calls on the Member States and the Commission to work through the ISA in order to ensure transparency in its working methods and its effective capacity to assess environmental impacts, as well as ensuring the effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects and the protection and preservation of the marine environment, as required under Parts XI and XII of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea;

23.  Calls on the Member States to assume a proactive and progressive role within international bodies in order to put forward transparency reforms and increase the overall environmental ambition of actions undertaken;

24.  Stresses that improving the ocean governance framework will entail strengthening regional and global efforts by promoting multilateral instruments which have already been agreed on, as well as strategies and their improved implementation; encourages the Commission to foster greater international maritime cooperation, in particular in maritime science and technology, as suggested by the OECD;

25.  Stresses the need for strengthened cooperation, policy coherence and coordination among all governments and institutions at all levels, including between and among international organisations, regional and subregional organisations and institutions, arrangements and programmes; notes in this respect the important role of effective and transparent multi-stakeholder partnerships, and the active engagement of governments with global, regional and subregional bodies, the scientific community, the private sector, the donor community, NGOs, community groups, academic institutions and other relevant actors;

26.  Calls for regional arrangements for governance of marine environments to be tightened up, particularly with a view to the attainment of SDG 14; calls on the EU and on international organisations, particularly by means of official development aid, to increase support for regional organisations and for the attainment by third countries of SDG 14;

27.  Emphasises the importance of including coastal local authorities and outermost regions in the process of bringing international ocean governance closer to EU citizens;

28.  Underlines the need to develop comprehensive strategies to raise awareness of the natural and cultural significance of the oceans;

29.  Underlines the need for a specific and tangible action plan on the EU’s engagement in the Arctic, in which the starting-point should be the objectives of preserving the Arctic’s vulnerable ecosystems and increasing their capacity for resilience to the effects of climate change;

30.  Points out that the central Arctic Ocean is not covered by international conservation or management systems; stresses the need for a coordinated approach on the part of the EU and its Member States to preventing unregulated fishing in the Arctic Ocean;

31.  Reiterates the call made in its resolution of 16 March 2017 on an integrated European Union policy for the Arcticfor the Commission and the Member States to take all necessary measures to play an active role in facilitating an internationally agreed ban on the on-board use and carriage in fuel tanks of HFO in vessels navigating the Arctic seas, by means of the provisions of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) currently applying for regulating the waters surrounding the Antarctic; invites the Commission to include the environmental, social, health and climate risks of the use of HFO in its position on International Ocean Governance; calls on the Commission, in the absence of adequate international measures, to put forward proposals on rules for vessels calling at EU ports prior to journeys through Arctic waters, with a view to prohibiting the use and carriage of HFO;

32.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to work actively towards the rapid finalisation of the protracted IMO work plan on reducing black carbon (BC) emissions from ships sailing in the Arctic, with a view to slowing down rapid temperature increases and the accelerated melting of polar ice in the region;

33.  Calls on the Commission to promote equal conditions on the labour market in the field of the sea and to ensure fair treatment, applying in an effective fashion the relevant international conventions, such as the ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention and Maritime Labour Convention, and establishing a harmonised social framework for maritime activities in Community waters;

34.  Calls for the introduction of a new international agreement on working conditions linked to the maritime sector; recalls the need to put an end to all forms of slavery that still exist on board vessels, and highlights the impact that substandard working conditions can have on individuals, economic operators and the marine environment;

35.  Calls on the Commission to develop ocean partnerships with key players in the form of multicultural cooperation mechanisms or bilateral dialogues aimed at ensuring better coordination and cooperation for the successful implementation of the ocean-relevant SDGs, the promotion of sustainable blue growth as well as the preservation, conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, while also reducing pressure on the oceans and seas and creating the conditions for a sustainable blue economy;

36.  Urges the Commission to strengthen maritime cooperation and capacity-building in the context of its external policy framework, in relation to areas such as development cooperation and trade agreements, in particular Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements, so as to build capacities to tackle the impacts of climate change and marine litter and promote better ocean governance and sustainable blue growth;

37.  Calls on the EU to pursue the principle that the allocation of fisheries resources must take account of the environmental and social impact on and the food security needs of developing countries, as well as of those countries’ aspirations to develop their own fisheries, while at the same time ensuring a sustainable level of fishing that does not lead to an excess of fishing capacity, in line with the targets set out in SDG 14;

38.  Calls on the EU, in line with the CFP, to minimise the impacts of aquaculture on the environment by ensuring sustainable sourcing of feed and promoting research focusing on reducing the pressure on wild fish stocks used for feed production;

39.  Notes that the EU is the world’s largest importer of fisheries products and that some catches are imported from areas where fishing is far less sustainable than in EU waters; encourages the EU to use its position in this regard to promote an increase in sustainability in all sea basins;

40.  Urges the Commission to call on Member States to stop sponsoring deep-sea mining exploration and exploitation licenses in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction and on and not to issue permits for deep-sea mining on Member States’ continental shelf;

41.  Calls on the Commission to support the stepping-up of international initiatives to combat trafficking in human beings by maritime routes;

42.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support an international moratorium on commercial deep-sea mining exploitation licences until such time as the effects of deep-sea mining on the marine environment, biodiversity and human activities at sea have been studied and researched sufficiently and all possible risks are understood;

43.  Underlines the importance of the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) and calls on the Commission to include maritime security in external policy, bearing in mind that a large proportion of trade is transported by sea, more than 70 % of external borders are sea borders and it is necessary to guarantee the security of passengers transiting through Union ports;

44.  Highlights the importance of continuing to boost cooperation between the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Frontex and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), each within its own mandate, to support Member States’ national authorities tasked with coast guard functions, and of promoting maritime safety and security, combating cross-border crime and protecting the environment by preventing and reducing pollution from offshore gas and oil installations; takes the view that these agencies should receive more substantial funding from the EU, if appropriate, in order to be able to carry out these new tasks; stresses the importance of further developing digital solutions – such as facilitating the shipping industry by means of streamlined procedures for reporting formalities, and investing more in a common infrastructure for Europe-wide data sharing to the benefit of all Member State authorities carrying out coast guard functions – and advanced maritime technology, such as the EMSA’s Integrated Maritime services, in order to improve surveillance and monitoring systems for maritime activities and other programmes such as the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for maritime surveillance;

45.  Emphasises that creating a sustainable maritime economy and reducing pressures on the marine environment require action on climate change, land-based pollution reaching the seas and oceans, marine pollution and eutrophication, on the preservation, conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, and on the sustainable use of marine resources;

46.  Expresses its concern over the fact that, according to a recent Parliament study, while the Blue Economy could have a positive socio-economic impact (in terms of employment, revenues and gross value added), its environmental impacts are generally negative, in terms of alterations of coastal dynamics, marine pollution, eutrophication, seabed morphology and habitat/ecosystem/biodiversity alterations; is concerned that the cumulative burden of environmental effects would be detrimental to fisheries;

47.  Calls for the Blue Economy to be steered towards rebuilding the resilience of coastal communities with a view to restoring the productive potential of fisheries, thereby supporting food security, poverty alleviation and the sustainable management of living aquatic resources; recalls that before any activities in Blue Economy sectors are implemented, an impact assessment and a full information and participation process for all stakeholders must be guaranteed; insists that the Blue Economy must contribute to the achievement of SDG 14, i.e. the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and marine resources;

48.  Believes that investment in the blue economy should not rely on finite resources but should be focused on ‘eco-innovation’, not exceeding natural regeneration rates, nature conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

49.  Urges the Member States to make further efforts for the timely implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in order to achieve good environmental status for marine waters for 2020, with a particular commitment to avoiding harm to the coastal and marine environment from all marine pollution including nutrient pollution and marine litter, as well as to removing harmful subsidies which encourage unsustainable fishing and strengthening the global fight against marine litter and plastic;

50.  Regards the prevention, recovery and recycling of marine plastic waste as a major international challenge, and calls on the Commission to deploy measures such as boosting support for research and placing the issue on the spectrum of the sustainable ‘blue economy’, so as to make the EU an initiator of innovative solutions, and to assume a leading role on the matter at global level;

51.  Calls on the Member States to swiftly implement the Framework Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management, in order to permit the full and harmonious development of the various maritime activities;

52.  Urges the Commission to strongly integrate ocean governance issues in its aid and development policies;

53.  Recalls that the fisheries sector is of tremendous importance, as representing one of the main traditional human activities carried out in the marine environment, making it an essential element of the Integrated Maritime Policy; points out that fisheries is the sector most affected by the many other uses of, and activities taking place on, the seas, such as maritime transport and tourism, urban and coastal development, the exploitation of raw materials and energy sources, and seafloor mining, as well as being affected by environmental phenomena such as marine pollution (plastic debris, discarded fishing nets, oil spills, noise pollution, ballast water discharges, uncontrolled oil and gas extraction and exploration, etc.) and climate change (rising sea levels, increasing sea surface temperatures, coastal flooding, rising ocean acidity, etc.);

54.  Highlights the importance of women in the seafood industry, given that, according to the FAO, they account for half that industry’s total working population; calls on the EU to promote and protect women in fisheries activities and fish-related industries, by encouraging fair prices for fisheries products and promoting better access for women active in fisheries to public support and financial resources, including in negotiations with third countries over the use of sector support in SFPAs, in the process of developing aid instruments, and in the various international fora;

55.  Awaits the forthcoming strategy on plastics from the Commission, as well as any other measures, including the recently announced Action Plan aimed at combating marine litter; calls for high ambition in the Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy, in order to adequately tackle the problem of marine litter at source, and urges the Commission to present concrete legislative actions and binding measures in this area, in particular concerning ecological design for plastics and microplastics and action to reduce the amount of used products discarded on land, especially close to rivers and other waterways and to the coast; expresses its deep concern about the scale of the issue; calls on the Commission and Member States to join and support the international coalition to reduce plastic bags pollution launched at the COP 22 in Marrakech in November 2016;

56.  Reiterates the need for a well-thought-out product policy that increases products’ expected lifetime, durability, reusability and recyclability, as stressed in its resolution of 9 July 2015 on ‘Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy’(22) , and further emphasises that this must urgently be applied to disposable plastic products and packaging in the upcoming Strategy on Plastics, in light of the environmental damage caused by these items as marine litter;

57.  Urges the Commission to assist in developing regional solutions and to promote national actions to address marine litter with the aim of eliminating it; also urges the Commission to help set up pilot projects to collect marine litter through beach clean-ups and fishing for litter campaigns, and to provide financial support to fishermen in Europe for the collection of marine litter;

58.  Requests the Commission to propose new legislation to address microplastic pollution in all its forms, and specifically by banning microplastic ingredients in all personal care products and by ensuring that all businesses that handle plastic production pellets implement proper protocols for minimising pellet leakage;

59.  Takes the view that pollution by non-reusable plastic bottles is a major cause of marine pollution, and urges the Commission to consider introducing a Europe-wide system of deposits on non-reusable drinks containers, on the German model;

60.  Calls for the EU and the Member States to join and support the international coalition for the reduction of pollution by plastic bags;

61.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to promote an internationally accepted plan to face the consequences of ocean’s warming, sea level raise and acidification;

62.  Calls on the Member States to promote resource efficiency, recycling and awareness- raising with regard to marine litter, through national awareness campaigns, educational programmes and collaboration among schools and universities on these issues;

63.  Recalls its position in favour of an ambitious circular economy package with EU marine litter reduction objectives of 30 % and 50 % in 2025 and 2030 respectively, as well as increased recycling targets for plastic packaging;

64.  Calls on the Member States to uphold the same level of ambition as the EU for marine litter reduction;

65.  Urges the Commission to intensify its efforts to combat marine litter in Europe and globally, by addressing land-based as well as sea-based sources through tackling the problem of illegal dumping of waste such as fishing gear, and giving financial support for the collection of marine litter; urges the Commission to reduce marine litter from shipping, in particular by promoting a harmonised cost recovery system for garbage in all European ports in the revision of Directive 2000/59/EC on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues; calls for more funding of research into the distribution and impact of marine litter and the effectiveness of international, regional and subregional strategies to combat marine litter and other pollutants;

66.  Stresses that the Union’s precautionary principle has to be applied in case of any potential future deep-sea mining exploration; is alarmed by the Commission’s insistence on deep-sea mining being one of the Union’s priority sectors for blue growth, given the scientific evidence that exists of its significant and irreversible environmental risks; is concerned at the possibility that the further promotion of deep-sea mining could adversely affect the actions that are required under SDG 12 (transition to sustainable consumption and production);

67.  Stresses that the precautionary principle must be applied to the emerging deep-sea mining sector, and that given the scientific warnings regarding significant and potentially irreversible environmental harm being implied, considers that the EU should not support the development of this industry but should, rather, invest in sustainable alternatives, and specifically in a transition to sustainable consumption and production, as called for in SDG 12 under Agenda 2030;

68.  Stresses that no oil or gas exploration or drilling should be permitted in or near Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) or vulnerable areas of high conservation value;

69.  Welcomes the EU action plan for the circular economy, and calls on the Commission to propose robust measures to prevent the discharge of micro- and macro- particles into the marine environment, including a reduction in waste leakage of 50 % by 2020, legislative measures for industry such as bans on single-use plastics (where natural alternatives are available), and, potentially, an international legal instrument;

70.  Calls on the Member States and on local and regional authorities to support innovative technological and financial initiatives addressing ocean and sea pollution, so as to promote efficient recovery systems for waste from shipping, in particular plastic waste, in ports and harbours, to raise awareness within the shipping sector of the consequences of disposing of plastic waste in the sea, and to overcome the major obstacles existing to the implementation of MARPOL;

71.  Stresses that the EU should be the leader of a global initiative to monitor and significantly reduce marine litter in the oceans; notes that the Member States have committed to the goals of Directive 2008/56/EC (the Marine Strategy Framework Directive), which stipulates that the properties and quantities of marine litter shall not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment (Descriptor 10);

72.  Encourages efforts to combat all sources of pollution of the oceans and the seabed, including noise pollution, and the implementation of practical international measures to eliminate ocean and seabed pollution;

73.  Welcomes the Commission’s determination to arrange for international action to monitor the impact of the warming of the oceans, rising sea levels and acidification of waters; calls for the stepping-up and development of international scientific programmes to monitor the temperature, salinity and heat absorption of the oceans, and for the establishment of a global ocean observation network to improve the monitoring of global changes in the oceans and enable better forecasting of the impact of climate change on the functioning of the oceans, carbon absorption and management of living marine resources;

74.  Stresses the importance of a life-cycle approach to plastics products, including the consideration of the degradation of different polymers and the rate of fragmentation (in the marine environment), to be achieved by internalising the environmental and social costs of products (cost internalisation), enhancing the process of closing the loop in product and process development and manufacturing as well as in life-cycle chains of plastics products, improving the lifespan of products, promoting green public and private procurement, promoting inter alia green engineering principles and frameworks, eco-design and eco-labelling, and strengthening the ability of private actors, including SMEs, to shift to more environment-friendly production processes;

75.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment made in its action programme on ocean governance to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing); encourages the Commission to continue the fight against IUU fishing in all regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) and other relevant fora; considers that EU-flagged vessels that are engaged in IUU fishing should be publicly listed, as provided for under the IUU regulation; urges the EU to put pressure on third countries to take action to prevent IUU-caught fish from entering their markets;

76.  Calls for greater cooperation among RFMOs, and urges their contracting parties to ensure that they are sufficiently resourced and strengthened;

77.  Calls on the RFMOs to:

   (a) continue to conduct regularly independent performance reviews, as well as to fully implement the recommendations from such performance reviews;
   (b) fully implement the recommendations from the Second Resumed Review Conference of the UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks;
   (c) harmonise measures, in particular monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement measures, including by agreeing on deterrent penalties and sanctions;

78.  Calls on the Member States to adopt the significant package of proposals presented by Parliament and the Commission in the context of the revision of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste, which, taken together, amount to a coherent new EU policy for sharing responsibility among all stakeholders for litter and the prevention of littering, both on land and in the marine environment;

79.  Encourages the Commission to establish an effective policy of adjustment to climate change in coastal and maritime areas, particularly by taking practical measures to protect coastal and marine ecosystems;

80.  Recalls that since January 2016, to improve vessel identification as a tool in the fight against IUU fishing, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) numbers have been required for all EU vessels of more than 24 metres in length overall (LOA) or 100 gross tonnage and above, fishing in EU waters, and for all EU vessels of more than 15 metres LOA fishing outside of European waters; encourages the EU to introduce an IMO number requirement for non-EU vessels in line with those that exist for EU vessels (more than 15 metres LOA), to be reported on an importing catch certificate, in order to ensure a level playing field and assist Member States with import controls;

81.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote cost-effective activities and instruments, as well as cooperation at all levels with regard to risk-based and environmentally sound clean-up activities for marine litter in rivers and coastal and marine areas, according to national circumstances; urges the Commission and the Member States, in this regard, to facilitate financing, public-private partnerships and capacity-building, and to develop and utilise international criteria for collective removal actions, clean-up and restoration, including with regard to quantities, population, ecosystem sensitivity and feasibility;

82.  Stresses the need to integrate at-sea labour and human rights considerations within the framework of global ocean governance; calls on the Commission to undertake targeted efforts to promote standards of decent work in the global fisheries industry, in recognition of the connection between labour and human rights abuses and unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, in particular IUU fishing; calls on the Commission to take measures to prevent fisheries products caught using workers that have been trafficked or subject to other labour and human rights abuses from reaching markets in the EU, and to work with actors in the industry to encourage the use of due diligence mechanisms to enable them to screen such products out of their supply chains; calls on the Member States to ensure the transposition into national law and implementation of ILO Convention C188 (the Work in Fishing Convention);

83.  Stresses that the key solution to marine litter lies in better solid waste collection and recycling on land, given that most marine litter is generated on land; believes, furthermore, that the EU should promote a coherent waste management approach wherever possible in all international fora, agreements and institutions; calls on the Member States, therefore, to conclude their work on the Circular Economy Package as soon as possible, and to implement ambitious recycling targets and comply with the EU’s marine litter reduction objectives without delay;

84.  Calls on the Commission to work in international fora to develop a clear sustainability framework for biodegradable plastics in all natural environments, including definitions and standards;

85.  Believes that bolder steps must be taken by both the Member States and the Commission to tackle the illegal export and dumping of plastic waste, including stricter enforcement of EU shipment regulations, as well as stricter monitoring and inspection schemes at ports and at all waste treatment facilities, targeting suspected illegal transfers and combating the export of waste for reuse (mainly regarding end-of-life vehicles and WEEE), as well as to ensure that exports go only to facilities that fulfil the requirements of environmentally sound management, as laid down in Article 49 of the Waste Shipment Regulation;

86.  Calls on the Member States to strengthen education and awareness-raising measures on marine litter, the use of plastics and the impact of individual consumer behaviour on the environment, by introducing elements into educational curricula at all levels, providing educational and outreach materials targeted at specific interest groups and age ranges in order to promote behavioural change, and organising large-scale information campaigns aimed at the citizens;

87.  Underlines the need to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus leakage into the oceans, thus reducing human-induced eutrophication through fundamental changes in the European agricultural model, by means of, inter alia, restrictions on the use of fertilisers, optimising nutrient use to crop requirements, cautious planning in the use of fertilisers and establishing more sustainable agricultural forms, as well as through reductions in atmospheric sources of nitrogen, better cleaning of sewage and waste water, and better control of diffuse urban nutrient sources, such as run-off from streets and storm sewers, while also addressing pressure on marine ecosystems via the mid-term review of the common agricultural policy;

88.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take all suitable measures to facilitate the adoption of international regulations to limit noise from industrial activities such as shipping and seismic surveys, in particular in biologically sensitive habitats, by, for example, proposing an annex to MARPOL on noise pollution, on similar lines to the newly added annex on air pollution;

89.  Notes that the obligations assumed under the Paris Agreement make it unreasonable and counter-productive to exploit new fossil fuel sources, especially if situated in ecologically vulnerable areas;

90.  Stresses that all waters are vulnerable to the offshore drilling of fossil fuels; emphasises that the use of fossil fuels will further contribute to and accelerate the climate change that is threatening our planet; is of the view that the EU must cooperate with international partners in order to achieve a just transition away from offshore drilling and thus contribute to the goal of a low-carbon economy;

91.  Underlines that any new licence for oil or gas exploration should follow strict precautionary regulatory standards in the field of environmental protection and safety for oil or gas exploration, prospection and production, and should include binding commitments as regards the decommissioning of exploration infrastructure, which in general has a limited life-span;

92.  Highlights the major potential of energy produced from the flow of waves and tides or the thermal and salinity gradients of oceans and seas; notes that in the long term, ocean energy has the potential to become one of the most competitive and cost-effective forms of energy generation;

93.  Welcomes the progress made by the Member States regarding the establishment of maritime spatial planning (MSP); reiterates that further efforts are needed for the coherent implementation of Directive 2014/89/EU in order to set an example for the global introduction of MSP; calls, therefore, on the Member States to draw up their maritime spatial plans by 31 March 2021 at the latest; emphasises the international and transnational dimension, and calls on the Commission to start work on drafting proposals for international guidelines, taking into account the importance of land-sea synergies and interactions, as well as related processes such as integrated coastal management, and to lead an international forum on MSP, involving the relevant stakeholders and third countries, to promote MSP globally and deliver best practices with a view to boosting international cooperation, improving the management, preservation and use of the oceans, raising transparency, and enhancing education and training;

94.  Notes that intensified activities in coastal and marine waters increasingly require the implementation of maritime spatial planning (MSP); calls on the Commission to work towards international guidelines on MSP and to help expand marine protected areas worldwide, with funding under the Horizon 2020 and LIFE programmes;

95.  Urges the Commission to support international efforts to protect marine biodiversity, in particular in the framework of the ongoing negotiations for a new legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction; calls on the Commission to propose more stringent legislation in order to preserve and ensure sustainable uses of marine biodiversity in areas under the jurisdiction of the Member States;

96.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to support the CBD and CITES, and stresses the need for a coordinated approach in implementing the decisions taken in the framework of these conventions for the protection of marine species and biodiversity, and for greater consistency of international work with that undertaken at European level; stresses the importance of doing more to protect marine species under CITES, and, for the marine species already protected by the convention, to strictly comply with it;

97.  Notes the significance of biodiversity as the cornerstone of our oceans, in which it plays a vital role in maintaining the productivity and functionality of marine ecosystems;

98.  Notes that the CFP should ensure that fishing mortality rates are set at levels allowing fish stocks to recover and to remain above levels capable of sustaining the maximum sustainable yield (MSY); stresses the need for sustainable fisheries management practices through the implementation of management measures and monitoring, control and enforcement, based on the best available scientific advice; believes that further measures could entail supporting the consumption of fish sourced from sustainably managed fisheries and through precautionary and ecosystem-oriented approaches; welcomes sustainable innovations by the fisheries sector as well as investment in and development and introduction of selective catch techniques;

99.  Recalls that in order to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) effectively, it is crucial to ensure that no type of fisheries products resulting from such activities reaches the markets; encourages the EU to promote, through all its partnerships and in all international fora, a ban on IUU fisheries products from as many markets as possible, thus reducing the profitability of those activities;

100.  Underlines the importance of continuing and expanding the bilateral partnerships if the fight against IUU fishing and overexploitation of fish stocks is to be effective, since otherwise EU actions could have only a limited impact on the current situation;

101.  Suggests that Member States and third countries should be more consistent and effective in their checks on catch documentation (catch certificates) and consignments, with a view to ensuring that the fish have been caught legally; encourages states to take measures to ensure better coordination between the fight against IUU fishing and trade and market policy; stresses that the EU should promote, support and implement in all international spheres the necessary action to eradicate IUU fishing;

102.  Commends the EU’s international leadership for the concrete progress achieved in the fight against IUU fishing, as well as its strong commitment in implementing effective measures against the phenomenon; recalls the EU’s efforts to reinforce its international actions against IUU fishing at bilateral, regional and multilateral level, including by continuing bilateral dialogues with third-country partners, using vessel tracking instruments and securing a greater role for key international agencies such as Interpol; calls on the Member States’ authorities to actively support the Commission’s work in establishing an electronic tool for management of catch certificates;

103.  Notes that the EU regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (the IUU Regulation) has made advances, but that implementation in all Member States should be improved, and that more coordination with third countries is needed to ensure that no fish enter the EU market illegally; also urges the EU to put pressure on third countries to take action to prevent IUU-caught fish from entering their markets;

104.  Stresses the importance of early responses to counter invasive species, considering their increasing impact on, and the risk they pose to, fisheries, ocean productivity and biodiversity, and the role they play in disrupting natural ecosystems; calls on the Member States to strengthen their cooperation among themselves and with third countries, including through synchronised and cooperative actions and exchanges of information, data and best practices;

105.  States that the exchange of ballast water is a possible method for avoiding the introduction of invasive alien species; stresses that while the IMO Ballast Water Convention, which is intended to control and manage this problem, will soon enter into force, its successful implementation will depend on more widespread ratification;

106.  Encourages the Commission to provide leadership and promote ecosystem-based marine spatial planning at a global level in order to reduce pressure on the marine environment and facilitate the development of sustainable blue economies;

107.  Urges the Commission to step up work and strengthen cooperation and coordination on the development of interoperable catch documentation schemes and traceability of fisheries products;

108.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to act decisively to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, to eliminate subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing, and to refrain from newly introducing any such subsidies, including through accelerating work to complete negotiations in the WTO on this issue, while also recognising that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of those negotiations;

109.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to provide funding opportunities for the establishment of marine protected areas and the exchange of best practices as a contribution to the achievement of the global target of 10 % of marine and coastal areas to be designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2020 as set out in SDG 14.5; notes that MPAs have ecological and socio-economic benefits and represent an important tool for the management of fishing activities and for ensuring the protection of spawning grounds; recalls, in particular, the importance of ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) as defined by the Biodiversity Convention, and the need to preserve these for the support of healthy, functioning oceans and the many services they provide; welcomes the Commission’s intention to promote and step up measures to manage MPAs, particularly by developing coherent and connected networks of such areas;

110.  Calls for the EU and the Member States to commit to investing in social capital so as to ensure better stewardship of ocean and coastal resources; strongly encourages, in particular, the involvement of women and young people in ocean literacy programmes and ocean stakeholder consultations;

111.  Stresses the need for the Commission to propose measures to further strengthen marine and maritime research and innovation activities, under Horizon 2020 and its successor programme;

112.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their efforts to implement and ensure a holistic approach to guarantee the ecological coherence and connectivity of networks of MPAs and their effective design, management and evaluation, as part of an effective spatial planning process, so that they can reach their full potential for protecting marine and coastal biodiversity; regrets that currently less than 3 % of the world’s oceans are designated as fully protected marine reserves; calls on the Member States to increase the number of designated MPAs, in accordance with SDG 14, with the aim of ensuring the preservation of at least 10 % of marine and coastal areas; encourages the Member States to develop coherent and connected networks of MPAs; calls on the Commission and the Council to use the results of scientific research into biodiversity with reference to the criteria for establishing MPAs in the negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction; lastly, encourages the Member States to ensure that tools are complementary and to develop marine spatial planning in order to combine MPAs more effectively with other effective conservation measures;

113.  Stresses the importance of protecting biodiversity by ensuring an effectively managed and ecologically coherent network of MPAs, conservation zones and Natura 2000 marine sites, covering at least 10 % of all European seas and marine areas by 2020, to be in line with SDG 14.5; encourages progress where possible towards fulfilling the IUCN and World Parks Congress guideline of 30 % MPAs by 2030;

114.  Calls for more to be done to establish the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment, by identifying and managing such sites, particularly on the high seas; reiterates its call for specific and lasting arrangements to protect biodiversity on an equivalent basis in the French outermost regions;

115.  Calls for the stepping-up of efforts to increase ocean literacy in Europe through closer cooperation and exchange between researchers, stakeholders, decision-makers and the public, with a strong focus on educational programmes on the importance of oceans and seas, as well as information on careers in the blue economy;

116.  Encourages the Member States to increase protection and resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems, particularly coral barrier reefs and mangroves, and, in this context, to commit themselves to the International Coral Reef Initiative;

117.  Calls on the Member States to support least developed countries, and particularly small island development states, in better implementing the MARPOL convention and thereby protecting the environment and livelihood of people in harbour areas;

118.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, by means of the various Community funds, to undertake the investment necessary to create an environment favourable to the development of marine renewable energy, in order to fully unlock the potential of Europe’s seas;

119.  Calls on the Commission to increase efforts at international level for the establishment of a coherent regulatory framework for the exploration and exploitation of deep-sea minerals, to be grounded in the precautionary principle;

120.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement the priority measures adopted by the conference of the parties to the Biodiversity Convention regarding marine and coastal biodiversity;

121.  Believes that an ‘Erika IV’ package on maritime safety should be launched to prevent further major maritime disasters, and that recognition of the ecological damage caused to marine waters by existing EU legislation should be taken into account under this package;

122.  Calls on the Commission to ensure recognition in EU law of the existence of ecological damage distinct from economic, material and non-material damage, and to contribute towards such recognition at international level;

123.  Calls on the Commission to increase consistency between its internal and external policies on the management and protection of resources, biodiversity and the oceans;

124.  Stresses that the development of marine renewable energy in island territories constitutes a genuine opportunity for sustainable development of the territories concerned, but also a source of considerable potential for the EU and the rest of the world; calls on the Commission to take the initiative to launch a global strategy for the island territories with a view to developing a new economic model that will be appropriate to their specific nature and based on energy autonomy and the development of marine renewable energy;

125.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission, by means of the various Community funds, to support the necessary investment in island and outermost regions to facilitate the development of marine renewable energy and thus contribute to the energy autonomy of those territories;

126.  Calls on the Commission to support training and skills in the new occupations linked to the sustainable blue economy, and to promote them particularly in regions with strong potential such as maritime, island and outermost regions;

127.  Calls for the introduction of an overarching integrated European policy on the oceans, with both an internal and an external section, covering all policies which affect the oceans (research, environment, energy, transport, fisheries, cohesion policy, neighbourhood policy, international trade, etc.), based on the fundamental aims of preserving the marine environment and ensuring sustainable development;

Addressing increasing shipping emissions from maritime transport

128.  Notes that even the Third IMO Greenhouse Gas Study of 2014 states that, depending on future economic and energy developments, maritime CO2 emissions are projected to increase by 50 % to 250 % in the period up to 2050, while Parliament’s 2015 study entitled ‘Emission Reduction Targets for International Aviation and Shipping’ states that if an IMO action plan to combat climate change were further postponed, the share of maritime CO2 emissions within global GHG emissions might rise substantially (to 17 %) for maritime transport by 2050; stresses, therefore, that shipping alone would consume a large share of the remaining greenhouse budget for limiting the temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius;

129.  Stresses the need for urgent global action to mitigate the adverse impacts of rising levels of atmospheric carbon on ocean ecosystems and health, particularly in the context of the Paris Agreement adopted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; points out that these adverse impacts include rising ocean temperatures, coastal and ocean acidification, sea-level rise, changes in ocean circulation and coastal erosion, as well as extreme weather events, decreasing polar ice coverage, salinity changes, nutrient availability and deoxygenation, and may be cumulative in nature; stresses the importance of well-functioning ecosystems in enhancing ocean resilience; reiterates the urgent need to address these impacts, which impair the crucial role of the ocean as a climate regulator, a carbon sink, a source of biodiversity, and a key provider of nutrition, livelihoods, energy and ecosystem services;

130.  Reiterates that in accordance with the Paris Agreement all sectors of the economy are required to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions; urges the adoption by the IMO of a clear emissions target and near-term immediate abatement measures by 2018 in order to reduce international maritime CO2 emissions at global level in line with the goals set by the Paris Agreement; notes, furthermore, that in the absence of a comparable system operating under the IMO, CO2 emissions emitted in Union ports and during voyages to and from Union ports of call are to be accounted for through the EU Emissions Trading Scheme or a comparable robust pricing mechanism, to be operational as soon as possible and no later than 2023;

131.  Reiterates that BioLNG use should be promoted as a means to decarbonise the shipping sector, and that the use of biogas in transport should be primarily reserved for the shipping sector, where BioLNG constitutes an existing advanced renewable fuel; considers that the infrastructure developments set out in Directive 2014/94/EU should accommodate to the use of BioLNG in the maritime sector, where currently few other renewable options exist;

132.  Underlines the role that natural gas, in particular liquefied natural gas (LNG), could play in the transition towards the decarbonisation of the transport sector, especially with regard to shipping, by helping to reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants;

133.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to assess and promote the application of speed restrictions to ships at IMO level in order to reduce emissions, taking into account the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), and the fact that in the road and rail sectors speed limits are commonplace; underlines that the internal and external economic benefit of lower ship speeds outweigh the costs; notes that slow steaming is comparatively easy to monitor and enforce, resulting in a low administrative burden on stakeholders;

134.  Stresses that shore-side power has a key role to play in greener shipping, as it allows ships to turn off their engines and plug into an electrical grid to produce electricity for hoteling, unloading and loading activities while in port and at berth; calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their efforts to encourage and support the use of shore-side electricity to all ships visiting European ports, thus eliminating ship engine emissions in port waters, reducing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, and also reducing noise, vibration and engine wear-and-tear;

135.  Calls for the establishment of a global market-based mechanism, such as an emissions pricing mechanism within the IMO, to address international maritime emissions, taking into special consideration the regions fully dependent on maritime transport, and particularly the outermost and island regions and states;

136.  Requests, in the light of the rapidly developing scientific understanding of the CO2 and non-CO2 impact of maritime transport on the global climate, that the IPCC, together with the IMO, carry out an assessment of the impacts of maritime transport, along similar lines to the IPCC special report ‘Aviation and the Global Atmosphere’ for the air transport sector;

137.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to work actively towards rapid finalisation of the protracted IMO work plan on reducing black carbon (BC) emissions from ships sailing in the Arctic with a view to slowing down rapid temperature increases in the polar regions;

138.  Calls on the Commission to come up, by 2020 at the latest, with a proposal addressing the use and installation of land-generated electricity by ships at berth in EU ports, with a view to reducing emissions within harbour areas;

139.  Stresses the importance of revising the Port Reception Facilities Directive (2000/59/EC), and invites the Member States and the Commission to adopt a strategy in partnership with the IMO, third countries and industry, for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, geared to the Paris Agreement targets and the need to establish an international system for the monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions;

140.  Urges the Commission to promote the necessary fiscal conditions to incentivise the use of shore-side power supply by ships in EU ports and the uptake of renewable technologies, notably sails, batteries and fuel cells, in the maritime sector, especially for short-sea shipping;

141.  Calls on the respective bodies to level the playing field EU-wide with regards to sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides emissions, by adapting the respective limit values to the lowest existing levels;

142.  Calls on the Commission to explore and propose measures to significantly reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions from the existing fleet, including an impact assessment of the possible introduction of a nitrogen oxide levy and fund system, with a view to achieving substantial reductions fast and effectively;

143.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to propose legal and technical measures to further reduce particulate matter and black carbon emissions;

144.  Emphasises the importance of the outermost regions in a maritime context, in particular given their location in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, providing laboratories for studying and combating the effects of climate change on biodiversity and marine ecosystems, and offering great potential for the development of renewables and blue biotechnology; stresses the need to create innovative programmes and provide adequate funding for the establishment of R&D centres in the outermost regions; calls, to this end, for the creation of a maritime cluster of outermost regions;

Strengthening international ocean research and data

145.  Stresses the importance of developing innovative services for public and private actors, such as knowledge hubs and networks, in order to obtain a good knowledge of the environmental status of marine waters, to enhance the sharing of scientific data, best practices and know-how, and to fully implement the actions of the Marine Knowledge 2020 roadmap (SWD(2014)0149); welcomes, in this context, the full operability of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service and the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO); urges the Commission to establish Copernicus-based capacities to monitor greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2 emissions, since this would offer substantial added value for the fight against climate change;

146.  Looks forward to the Commission’s proposals for coordinating EU research and observation activities with international partners, and for exploring ways to improve research quality, inter alia through extending existing EU research and observation tools and activities, including the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), in order to establish a shared database, the European Earth Observation Programme (Copernicus), the European Global Ocean Observing System (EuroGOOS), and the Joint Programming Initiative ‘Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans’ (JPI Oceans), all with the aim of creating an international marine and maritime data network;

147.  Calls for the full legal authorisation and integration at European level of innovative, proven and selective fishing techniques, to be monitored in close cooperation with scientific establishments and without national protectionism;

148.  Calls for greater investment in scientific research in order to gain a better understanding of our oceans; notes that 95 % of this realm still remains unexplored;

149.  Underlines the importance of sharing the research and data obtained via marine science and technology with scientific communities from third countries; stresses that both promoting further investments in marine science in third countries and establishing international networks through which results and information can be shared are highly important for the development of more sustainable fishing, for better marine management and for tackling common ocean problems;

150.  Notes with concern that small islands are highly vulnerable to coastal erosion, since their coastal environments might be heavily impacted by sea-level rise, water cycle and marine ecosystem trends arising from climate change; emphasises that the existing large European data assembly centres do not contain sediment mass balance data sets, which are required to understand coastal changes and erosion on a small island scale; stresses, therefore, the urgent need to develop and use innovative, state-of-the-art technologies to collect, evaluate and monitor coastal erosion, coastal and marine conditions and the environmental parameters of small EU islands; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support such projects;

151.  Stresses the importance of facilitating knowledge of the seabed, marine species and habitats, and of gathering geological, bathymetric, seismic, volcanic, chemical, hydrological, atmospheric and meteorological data on the oceans, particularly in order to develop marine renewable energy and establish marine protected areas; encourages, in this context, scientific observation and exploration of the oceans, with due regard for the environment and marine ecosystems and with the objective of sustainable development;

152.  Notes the crucial importance of ensuring accurate data in the fisheries sector, this being an essential prerequisite for the achievement of good ocean governance; stresses that appropriate and realistic financial resources must be provided to guarantee this objective; considers it necessary to improve cooperation and coordination with international partners on the basis of the example of EMODnet and in line with the G7’s Tsukuba communiqué;

153.  Encourages dedicating greater resources to increasing marine knowledge and understanding of the oceans, with particular regard to marine scientific research, collection of new data and knowledge and data-sharing platforms, as well as to promoting policy development and decision-making based upon the best available scientific evidence; reiterates the importance of the precautionary approach where adequate scientific evidence is unavailable;

154.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to promote scientific knowledge, exchanges of data and technology transfer with the aim of contributing to the protection and sustainable use of the oceans; calls for the pursuit and intensification at global level of initiatives, cooperation and investment to promote marine research and innovation;

155.  Stresses that ocean governance should build on the best available knowledge, and therefore calls for increased research and innovation with the aim of governing the oceans and their resources in a way that ensures the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems, including the sustainability of the exploitation of its resources;

156.  Stresses the need to continue to research the threat posed by catastrophic oil spills and the cumulative effects of more frequent spills on the ocean environments, in order to ensure that decisions to undertake offshore exploration and exploitation activities are based on accurate and up-to-date scientific knowledge;

157.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up research and to encourage multidisciplinary approaches and partnerships between economic and public operators, in order to develop scientific knowledge of the oceans;

158.  Stresses the need to dedicate greater resources to marine scientific research, such as interdisciplinary research and sustained ocean and coastal observation, as well as the collection and sharing of data and knowledge, including traditional forms, in order to increase our knowledge of the oceans, better understand the relationship between climate and the health and productivity of the oceans, strengthen the development of coordinated early warning systems on extreme weather events and phenomena, promote decision-making based on the best available science, encourage scientific and technological innovation, and enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing states and least developed countries;

159.  Calls on the Commission to establish, at European level, and to promote at international level, research, observation, and collection and exchange of data concerning the activity of volcanic islands and oceanic volcanoes and their links with the oceans; stresses the driving role that the outermost regions could play in this field;

160.  Points out that renewable energy from the seas and oceans has significant potential for meeting climate and energy targets and diversifying energy sources; stresses that further research on waves, currents and salinity is necessary, as well as development of adequate environmental sustainability criteria;

161.  Recalls that one of the aims of the ‘blue growth’ strategy is to improve oceanographic knowledge; calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose marine research and science partnerships with international actors and to step up those which already exist, such as BlueMed;

162.  Welcomes the EU’s support via the programmes for marine and maritime research and innovation funded through the framework programme; calls on the Commission to maintain that support;

163.  Calls for sufficient funding to support marine and maritime research and innovation actions, notably those which cross sectors in a dedicated mission for ocean research and innovation;

164.  Supports the continuation of the provisions of the 2013 Galway Statement, and encourages the establishment of similar forms of cooperation with third countries;

165.  Stresses that promoting further investments in marine science together with third countries, as pursuant to the Galway Statement of 2013, as well as investments in common research projects in developing countries and the establishment of international networks through which results and information can be shared, is of utmost importance for the development of better and more sustainable fishing and marine ecosystem management and for tackling common challenges with regard to the oceans;

166.  Reiterates the importance of working together with international partners to strengthen mapping, observations and research in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Atlantic, in line with the BLUEMED initiative and the Belém and Galway Statements and with global or regional alliances such as the Belmont Forum;

167.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to propose an alignment of EMODnet with other international marine data collection efforts by 2018; recalls the importance of the Union’s commitment to the UN’s SDGs, and particularly SDGs 14.A and 14.A.1, as well as to the G7 Science and Technology Ministers’ Tsukuba Communiqué, in this context; urges the Commission and the Member States to remind international partners of their commitments to promote accessible, interoperable and open science; calls on the Commission to report regularly to Parliament on the progress made towards truly global ocean observation platforms;

168.  Calls, in line with the UN’s call for action ‘Our Ocean, Our Future’, for thorough assessments to be carried out on the state of the oceans, based on both science and traditional knowledge systems;

169.  Stresses the need to move forward towards fit-for-purpose ocean observation systems, access to marine data and handling of large quantities of data (including the blue cloud), in line with the Tsukuba Communiqué;

170.  Encourages dedicating greater resources to increasing marine knowledge and understanding of the oceans, with particular regard to marine scientific research, collection of new data and knowledge- and data-sharing platforms, as well as to promoting policy development and decision-making based upon the best available scientific evidence; reiterates the importance of the precautionary approach in cases where adequate scientific evidence is unavailable;

171.  Calls on the Member States and on regional and local authorities and private bodies to focus primarily on innovation projects, blue biotechnologies and the use of clean energy in order to promote and better adapt ecological infrastructure and maritime transport, and to protect the oceans’ ecosystem and biodiversity through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the Horizon 2020 programme and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF); calls, furthermore, on the Member States to focus on alternative and non-conventional fuels for vessels, such as LNG, and on the LNG ‘blue corridors’ project linking islands in order to promote and adapt infrastructures – such as LNG terminals – as bridging technologies, using the existing funding mentioned above; calls on the Commission to develop ocean partnerships with key ocean players as a means of boosting cooperation, policy coherence and coordination on matters of common interest in areas central to ocean governance, such as Blue Growth and the exchange of best practices;

172.  Notes that the automation and digitisation of the maritime sector entail improved digital skills and qualifications, and emphasises that this represents an opportunity to attract young people; calls on the Commission to put forward initiatives in this area, developing joint initiatives for the recognition of qualifications and promoting various marine and maritime activities;

173.  Regrets the lack of any reference in the joint communication on international ocean governance to coastal and maritime tourism, bearing in mind its impact on coastal, island and outermost regions, and on the local tourism sector, involving mainly SMEs; calls for the implementation of a European tourism strategy within the framework of the International Ocean Forum, involving the regions and including coastal local authorities, in the pan-European dialogue for an exchange of best practices regarding the smart governance of coastal and maritime tourism; insists that the Commission’s strategy on plastic and other marine waste should not lose sight of coastal areas, given that disturbances in the marine environment have an extremely negative impact on tourism attractiveness, as well as an unavoidable economic and climate impact on all activities in the outermost regions;

174.  Calls for efforts to be stepped up to enhance research and innovation enabling improved ocean governance in a way that ensures the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems, including the sustainability of those resources, as well as ocean literacy, both in Europe and globally, through closer cooperation and exchange between researchers, stakeholders, decision-makers and the public, with a view to improving education on the oceans and careers in the blue economy; calls for a thorough assessment of the state of the ocean, based on both science and traditional knowledge systems, in accordance with the UN document ‘Our Ocean, Our Future: Call for Action’;

175.  Emphasises the importance of including the local authorities of coastal and outermost regions in the process of bringing international ocean governance closer to EU citizens;

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176.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 209, 30.6.2017, p. 60.
(2) See Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0069, P8_TA(2017)0070, P8_TA(2017)0071 and P8_TA(2017)0072.
(3) OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p. 3.
(4) OJ L 365, 31.12.1994, p. 10.
(5) OJ L 182, 16.7.1999, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 269, 21.10.2000, p. 34.
(7) OJ L 266, 26.9.2006, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 197, 24.7.2012, p. 38.
(9) OJ L 321, 5.12.2011, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 251, 16.9.2016, p. 77.
(11) OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 135.
(12) OJ L 123, 19.5.2015, p. 55.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0035.
(14) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0093.
(15) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0478.
(16) OJ C 70 E, 8.3.2012, p. 70.
(17) OJ C 75, 26.2.2016, p. 24.
(18) ‘Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean’, Jenna R. Jambeck, Roland Geyer, Chris Wilcox, Theodore R. Siegler, Miriam Perryman, Anthony Andrady, Ramani Narayan, Kara Lavender Law, Science , Vol. 347, Issue 6223, 13 February 2015, pp. 768-771.
(19) Marine Plastic Debris and Microplastics, UNEP: https://wedocs.unep.org/rest/bitstreams/11700/retrieve.
(20) European Environment Agency, ‘The impact of international shipping on European air quality and climate forcing’, 2013.
(21) Winkel, R., Weddige, U., Johnson, D., Hoen, V., and Papaefthimiou, S. (2015), ‘Shore Side Electricity in Europe: Potential and environmental benefits’, Energy Policy, DOI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421515300240.
(22) OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 65.

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