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PV 21/10/2010 - 5
CRE 21/10/2010 - 5

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PV 21/10/2010 - 7.10
CRE 21/10/2010 - 7.10
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Thursday, 21 October 2010 - Strasbourg
Integrated maritime policy

European Parliament resolution of 21 October 2010 on Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) - Evaluation of progress made and new challenges (2010/2040(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  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(1),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union’ (COM(2007)0575),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Progress Report on the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy’ (COM(2009)0540),

–  having regard to the European Commission staff working document accompanying the Progress Report on the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy (SEC(2009)1343),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Towards an Integrated Maritime Policy for better governance in the Mediterranean’ (COM(2009)0466),

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

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain’ (COM(2009)0538),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Examining the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR)’ (COM(2008)0068),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Commission Work Programme 2010 - Time to act’ (COM(2010)0135),

–  having regard to the European Commission White Paper: ‘Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action’ (COM(2009)0147),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Roadmap for Maritime Spatial Planning: Achieving Common Principles in the EU’ (COM(2008)0791),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Guidelines for an Integrated Approach to Maritime Policy: Towards best practice in integrated maritime governance and stakeholder consultation’ (COM(2008)0395),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region’ (COM(2009)0248),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘The European Union and the Arctic region’ (COM(2008)0763),

–  having regard to the European Commission Staff Working Paper entitled ‘Building a European marine knowledge infrastructure: Roadmap for a European Marine Observation and Data Network’ (SEC(2009)0499),

–  having regard to the European Commission Staff Working Paper entitled ‘Marine data infrastructure, outcome of public consultation’ (SEC(2010)0073),

–  having regard to the European Commission Staff Working Paper entitled ‘Non-paper on maritime surveillance’ (SEC(2008)2337),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘A European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research: A coherent European Research Area framework in support of a sustainable use of oceans and seas’ (COM(2008)0534),

–  having regard to the European Commission Communication entitled ‘Strategic goals and recommendations for the EU's maritime transport policy until 2018 (COM(2009)0008),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on integrated maritime policy of 16 November 2009,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on integrated maritime surveillance of 17 November 2009,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on integrated maritime policy of 14 June 2010,

–  having regard to the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution and the protocols thereto(2),

–  having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the Maritime and Coastal Package of 17-18 June 2009,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on a future maritime policy for the Union: a European vision for the oceans and seas(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2008 on an integrated maritime policy for the European Union(4),

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on Fisheries and the Committee on Regional Development (A7-0266/2010),

A.  whereas the oceans and seas are extremely complex and are influenced by many activities, interests and policies; whereas the expertise to deal with the multiple challenges of maritime affairs and also the power to tackle them are spread among numerous public and private players at different levels of governance,

B.  whereas the world's oceans and seas are interlinked and interdependent and whereas, moreover, the ever more intense use of the oceans and seas by sectors such as shipping, fisheries, energy, tourism and research, combined with climate change, have added to the pressure on the marine environment,

C.   whereas shipping and the shipbuilding industry contribute significantly to the economic welfare of EU countries and provide a valuable service to European and global industry and consumers,

D.  whereas the IMP approach represents a clear response to the question of how to achieve greater coherence between actions conducted under the different policies that affect seas and coastal areas and the need for environmentally friendly use of these ecosystems' resources,

E whereas the Marine Strategy Framework Directive forms the environmental pillar of the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP); whereas this approach should be better linked with the other sectoral policies,

F.  whereas a successful IMP should be based on excellence in marine research, technology and innovation and should lead to a one-stop-shop approach in decision-making and therefore to a reduction in duplication of regulatory powers, while taking into consideration regional and local specificities,

G.  whereas these integrated maritime governance structures should enhance the coordinated planning of competing maritime activities, the strategic management of maritime areas, the quality of surveillance activities and the enforcement of laws; whereas this objective calls for measures to identify clearly the whole range of such structures, guarantee their visibility and improve their cooperation,all within a transparent and coherent framework,

H.  whereas the European Union is the world's leading maritime power and should use the IMP and its achievements as a basis for acting as an international driving force to improve the planning of maritime activities, environmental protection and the promotion of good practices within international fora,

I.  whereas Europe's coasts and outermost islands play a special role as regards security and protection against environmental threats and criminal acts,


1.  Welcomes the European Commission's October 2009 package on the integrated maritime policy (IMP) as a timely and encouraging stocktake of the implementation of the 2007 Blue Paper action plan, and at the same time acknowledges that the new initiatives already taken and envisaged are fully coherent with, and a logic consequence of, the goals of the Blue Paper; confirms overall the validity of the integrated approach to maritime affairs;

2.  Agrees with the Commission that our ‘strong maritime tradition’ is one of the strengths of Europe; calls therefore on the European Commission and the Member States to further develop the potential offered by the different maritime sectors by drawing up an ambitious ‘blue growth’ strategy;considers that IMP should contribute to achieving a competitive, social and sustainable Union; takes the view in this regard that the development of IMP must harmoniously incorporate efforts to attain economic development, a high level of employment – particularly by making the sector more attractive for young people through training actions and the launch of a ‘Maritime Erasmus’ – and environmental protection; states, therefore, that the IMP should be interconnected with the objectives and initiatives of the EU 2020 Strategy;

3.  Asks the Commission, therefore, to come up with an overarching, cross-sectoral strategy for sustainable growth in coastal regions and maritime sectors by 2013, based on a broad investigation of potentials and policy options and on broad stakeholder consultation; considers that one element of this strategy should be a new, integrated approach to strengthening Europe's world leadership in marine and maritime research, technology development and maritime engineering, across sectors such as shipbuilding, the sustainable development of marine resources, clean shipping and off-shore energy development and technologies; states that solutions need to be found at an international level to eradicate unfair competition practices within the shipbuilding industry;

4.  Calls on the Commission to take action after the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, and create legal certainty in the field of offshore oil extraction in Europe by submitting a coordinated European action strategy for emergency preparedness and for tackling disasters caused by drilling rigs and tankers, at an international level especially in cases of cross-border contamination; asks the Commission to encourage Member States to implement fully the already existing international legal framework as defined by the IMO's international conventions in this respect, to identify, in parallel, all possible measures for preventing such disasters and all legislative loopholes at EU and Member State level and to adjust as quickly as possible all relevant EU actions and legislation accordingly, taking into account the differing circumstances of the Gulf of Mexico and European coastal regions and seas;

5.  Urges the Commission to extend the mandate of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on safety inspections of offshore installations and the cleaning up of oil spills in the review of the EMSA Regulation;

6.  Considers that, in this context, there is an urgent need for action to review Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage, as this does not include liability in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle in the case of offshore oil extraction;

7.  Calls on the Commission in this respect to investigate whether EMSA's remit should be extended and whether it should be assigned responsibility for monitoring compliance with safety standards in offshore oil extraction and reviewing contingency plans in that regard;

8.  Welcomes the Commission study entitled ‘Database on EU-funded projects in maritime regions’(5) and calls on the Commission in its next progress report on IMP to provide a full and systematic overview of all funding made available across all budget lines for activities related to maritime sectors, coastal regions and the seas;

9.  Asks the Commission to insist on the IMP receiving appropriate funding in the next financial perspective and to study all possible options for funding, including both the Committee of the Regions' proposal of a coastal fund and effective coordination of different funding schemes;

10.  Supports the Commission's stated intention to finance the IMP with EUR 50 million over the next two years in order to build upon previous projects in the areas of policy, governance, sustainability and surveillance;

Maritime governance

11.  Congratulates those Member States and regions which have already established integrated maritime governance policies and structures; calls on those Member States whose IMP administrative structures are still highly fragmented, to establish forthwith unified and integrated maritime governance structures;

12.  Agrees with the Commission's guidelines on maritime governance and its analysis of the promising but still not satisfactory progress made in the last years;

13.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and coastal regions to intensify their efforts in defining integrated maritime policies and in building adequate maritime governance structures, which make it possible to take decisions on the basis of the best information available, involving all interested parties and therefore better respecting the different policy objectives;

14.  Stresses the need to encourage tailored local development strategies driven by a bottom-up consultation process and to discourage the ‘one size fits all’ approach; considers, therefore, that integrated maritime governance is essential in order to avoid any overlapping of competences between different levels of government and to enhance cooperation and dialogue with local and regional authorities, coastal communities, civil-society actors and other maritime stakeholders; favours the establishment and development of strategies for the EU's maritime macro-regions in the context of strategic approaches for regional maritime areas;

15.  Calls on the Commission to evaluate in more detail, based on performance, the quality of maritime governance structures at Member State and regional level and to exchange best practices to achieve the IMP objectives; takes the view that integrated and transparent maritime governance ensures optimum planning, creates a wide range of synergies and contributes to the emergence of a European maritime area without barriers;

16.  Agrees with the Commission that stakeholder involvement in maritime policy-making should also be enshrined more permanently in governance structures; invites to this end all coastal Member States which have not as yet done so to designate as soon as possible national contact points for IMP; thereby responding positively to the Commission's request; stresses the necessity to activate this operational network as soon as possible; supports the formation of a cross-sectoral platform for stakeholder dialogue on maritime affairs; asks for arrangements to be introduced for a concrete partnership between the Commission and the Regions, reiterates its support for the European Maritime Day,and asks for further consideration to be given to provisions for information for EU citizens and public participation regarding all aspects of the IMP;

17.  Welcomes the European Network of Maritime Clusters and asks the Commission, Member States and Regions to support these emerging organisations at all levels, in particular by supporting their innovative capacity and their integration into national and Community policies and programmes, strengthening transnational cooperation, working towards more openness to SMEs and improving their visibility;

18.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to intensify their dialogue at international level on IMP and other maritime issues in the competent fora, including on the ratification and implementation of UNCLOS; suggests that a meeting on IMP be established at ministerial level of the Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), to be held at least once a year;

19.  Calls on the European Union to campaign within the Union for the Mediterranean for the draft common code of good practice in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors to be integrated into the programme of this new international organisation;

20.  Calls on the Commission to reinforce the international dimension of the IMP and draws the attention of the Commission and Member States to the fact that improvements in working conditions at sea, to safety and the environmental performance of vessels should be placed on the agenda of international fora and ratified by port, flag and coastal States as part of international agreements, in order to make it possible to achieve a worldwide improvement in the field of shipping;

21.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to support the inclusion of IMP in the financial leverage instruments and objectives of the EU's external policy through the development of suitable initiatives aimed at addressing problems such as pollution, illegal fishing and piracy;

Sea basin initiatives and strategies

22.  Welcomes the regional sea-basin initiatives and strategies proposed so far by the Commission and the macroregional strategies of relevance to the sea; recognises that implementation of the IMP principles requires that they be translated into targeted strategies and specific measures tailored to the specificities of each sea basin, and in the case of the Mediterranean, the various sub-regions present therein; calls for further dialogue and cooperation in order to improve governance of the marine space and coastal areas in the framework of a multi-level approach in the different maritime sea basins, including the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean area, and asks the Commission to take rapid steps in cooperation with Member States to draw up and present actions in these regions;

23.  Calls on the Commission to give special consideration to the specific features of the EU's outermost regions, whose territorial waters ensure that the EU has the world's largest Exclusive Economic Zone; considers, therefore, that these territories could play a pivotal role in the international dimension of IMP and calls on the Commission to incorporate a maritime dimension into its international agreements with regional sub-groups;

24.  Notes that a large part of the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea are outside the areas under the jurisdiction or sovereign rights of coastal States, and that consequently these States do not have prescriptive and enforcement powers to regulate human activities beyond such areas in an integrated manner;

25.  Asks the coastal states concerned therefore to resolve delimitation issues on the basis of UNCLOS and agree on their maritime zones;

Maritime spatial planning

26.  Understands that stability, predictability and transparency of management of marine spaces is key to securing optimal and sustainable development of economic activities and new growth, and jobs on the sea, including the further development of renewables such as wind and wave energy, without prejudice to more traditional activities;

27.  Is of the view that the management of intensifying and increasingly competing sea uses on an eco-system basis requires coordinated, streamlined and cross-border maritime spatial planning as a neutral tool, which has the potential to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and to facilitate the harmonious coexistence of different sea uses;

28.  Welcomes the road map on maritime spatial planning (MSP), based on an ecosystem approach and the development of the ten planning principles and considers this cross-sectoral policy tool essential for the implementation of IMP; asks the Commission to submit in 2011 a draft directive on MSP or to propose the type of instrument most suitable for ensuring coherence between MSP and the other existing initiatives (ICZM, Natura 2000, Marine Strategy Framework Directive);

29.  Suggests evalutating opportunities for co-utilisation of maritime space by different sectors (e.g. shipping, renewable/wind energy and aquaculture);

30.  Notes the essential importance of European maritime spatial planning and its uses for coastal regions and the outermost regions in particular and points to the need to protect the ecologically most sensitive marine biogeographical regions while enabling the fisheries sector to exploit resources on a sustainable basis;

Maritime Surveillance

31.  Expects that a well coordinated and integrated cross-pillar, cross-sectoral, and cross-border approach towards maritime surveillance will improve protection of the interests of Member States and the European Union and protection against marine pollution and illegal actions by making available to authorities operating at sea, monitoring and surveillance information across various relevant sectors of activity, thereby generating more efficiency;

32.  Calls therefore on the Commission, the Member States, EU agencies and in particular the EMSA, and relevant organisations to speed up their efforts in terms of cooperation and coordination and with regard to the necessary legislative adaptations;

33.  Calls on the Commission in cooperation with Member States to identify obstacles to the exchange of data in EU and national legislation and in the mandates of the agencies, to learn from the experience gained in regional and national initiatives, research projects and in pilot projects and from CSDP operations relating to maritime surveillance, to present in 2010 a roadmap on integrated maritime surveillance and to explore areas for cooperation with third countries, especially those from the Mediterranean that have ratified UNCLOS, as well as with relevant organisations;

34.  Asks the Commission to identify the additional financial needs for creating a common information sharing environment within the framework of integrated maritime surveillance in good time before the next Financial Perspective, for the benefit of both the EU and Member States;

35.  Calls on the Commission to propose a legal framework for the integration of maritime surveillance with a view to a common information sharing environment;

36.  Reiterates its call for improved cooperation between Member States' national inspectorates, coastguards and navies and reminds the Commission to carry out – as requested earlier by the European Parliament for 2005 in Directive 2005/35/EC – a feasibility study on further collaboration or integration between the different coastguard services, with greater interoperability between the different surveillance systems and with the prospect of creating a European Coastguard Service; considers that there is great potential for involving EMSA more fully in monitoring coastal areas and for providing Member States with more support in tracing marine pollution;


37.  Reiterates the position and requests expressed in its resolution on strategic goals and recommendations for the EU's maritime transport policy until 2018;

38.  Asks the Commission, in view of the upcoming White Paper on the Future of Transport, to take into account the critical role of maritime freight transport in trade today, to promote the development of secondary and less congested ports and to adequately address the question of maritime transport security measures in the EU and abroad by investing in enhancing multilayered risk management systems for targeting and inspecting dangerous cargo.

39.  Stresses the importance of a maritime space without barriers and calls on the Commission and Member States to:

   evaluate and preserve small ports,
   expand the short sea shipping network in order to minimise the land transport distances,
   support research and innovation on cargo modes, cargo handling and logistic solutions with the aim of finding solutions that reduce time in transport and in handling costs,
   support port infrastructure development;

40.  Asks the Commission to integrate the European Maritime Policy and the inland waterways policies, in order to maximise the potential of the waterway transport and to create efficient and diversified ways of transport;

41.  Encourages the Commission, the Member States and industry to intensify efforts in research and development in the use and application of renewable energy sources for both ship propulsion and onboard electric power;

42.  Urges the Commission to improve the working conditions of seafarers by appropriate means, to implement the ILO Maritime Labour Convention in Community law and to propose a programme for the qualification and training of seafarers and especially the recruitment of young people, including those from third countries;

43.  Asks the Commission to consider a coordinated European industrial policy initiative aimed at increasing competitiveness, supporting the excellence of European shipbuilding, and the safety and environmental performance and competitiveness of shipping in the common maritime space without barriers, while making full use of the competitive shipbuilding capacity of Europe for this purpose and using environmentally sound technologies and alternative shipping fuels to promote ‘green shipping’; calls on Member States to ratify the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships;

44.  Considers that, empowered by the reference to territorial cohesion in the TFEU, and with the aim of improving accessibility, it is essential to continue making the mobility of passengers and goods an integral part of internal market policy through the promotion of short sea shipping and maritime cabotage between territories and, at the same time, ensure better links between peripheral maritime regions, outermost regions and islands and mainland and economic centres; point out, in the same context, that it is of crucial importance to deal with the difficulties facing island areas in the EU, in particular small island communities, with regard to the transport of persons and goods by supporting maritime links not adequately served by the market and by guaranteeing the same cost per kilometre for the transport of people, regardless of their location; calls for concrete measures for the outermost regions taking account of their distinctive features;

45.  Draws attention to the particular importance of the maritime economy for those Member States with large Exclusive Economic Zones, and to the need to promote the development of maritime economic clusters and to boost their contribution to growth and employment under the EU 2020 Strategy;

46.  Stresses that both fisheries and aquaculture have a place in the maritime economy and development of often remote coastal regions, whose economic, social and environmental development the IMP should strengthen;

47.  Insists that the constraints and specificities of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors be taken into account in IMP as regards use of the maritime domain, in particular as regards the availability of areas in which to carry on such activities and the need to conserve marine habitats by establishing marine reserves and other measures for that purpose, with special emphasis on better-planned research and full consideration for the geographical and climatological diversity of each sea area;

48.  Recalls the particular vulnerability of coastal regions and islands to the impact of climate change; stresses that planning of all developments along the Community's extensive coastline, including its hinterland, must take into account the consequences of climate change; suggests that vulnerability to climate change be considered when shaping future regional policy in order not to jeopardise implementation the IMP;

49.  Calls on the Commission to coherently integrate the CO2 reduction targets and introduce economic market based instruments, such as emissions trading schemes, into the maritime sector; following the outcome of the 61st session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (27 September 2010 to 1 October 2010) and maintaining its call for further substantial progress within the IMO, recalls the commitment made in the ETS Directive (2009/29/EC) for the Commission to act; asks the Commission to develop a strategy to mitigate the specific impacts of climate change on coastal and island regions, as a follow-up to the White Paper on Climate Change;

50.  Reiterates the urgent need to relieve pressures upon the marine environment which originate from land, such as pollution from industrial and agricultural effluents and poor coastal zone management, in the context of an integrated ecosystem-based approach;

51.  Calls on the Member States to comply with their obligations under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and, by 15 July 2012, perform an assessment of the environmental status of their marine waters and establish environmental targets and monitoring programmes; calls on Member States, furthermore, to adopt ambitious programmes of measures to attain a good environmental status for those waters;

52.  Calls on Member States to comply with their obligation under Article 13 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to designate marine protected areas; calls, furthermore, on Member States to monitor compliance with the protection measures effectively;

53.  Observes that since 1 July 2010 new limit values for SO2 levels in shipping fuels have been in force in the English Channel, North Sea and Baltic Sea, which have been declared sulphur emission control areas under an IMO decision; considers, accordingly, that all European coastal areas should be similarly protected , and that applying new limit values for SO2 levels to only some areas could lead to distortion of competition; considers that uniform rules covering the whole EU would be preferable and a modal shift from sea to road transport shall be avoided at all costs;

54.  Recognises that the seas have become a disposal site for immense and fast-growing volumes of waste material, much of it of plastic origin, as well as of lost shipping containers; calls on the Commission to promote a European and international debate to explore means by which this can be reduced;

55.  Asks the Commission to come up with a strategy for sustainable coastal, islands and marine tourism in order to enhance their sustainability and attractiveness for inhabitants and tourists this being one of the objectives of protecting nature in marine regions such as the Wadden Sea, and to do so by making full use of the new provisions on tourism in the Lisbon Treaty and by promoting initiatives such as the EDEN Network;

56.  Points out that, taking into account the vast potential for development and the substantial source of growth represented by marine and coastal tourism and related sectors; coastal regions represent the principal tourist destination in Europe and asks the Commission to include these issues in its strategy for sustainable coastal and marine tourism;

57.  Stresses the importance of the added value of the Seas/Maritime Policy in strengthening cooperation between neighbours and especially between Member States and candidate countries;

58.  Welcomes the European Marine and Maritime Research Strategy as well as the joint calls under the Research Framework Programme on ‘Oceans of Tomorrow’ as concrete signs of an integrated approach to implementing the IMP; proposes making sea-related sciences a priority in the 8th Framework Programme for Research as well as the creation of a European Marine Research Institute;

59.  Agrees that building an interdisciplinary scientific and technological knowledge base on Europe's seas and coasts is essential; asks the Commission and the Member States to assess, in cooperation with regional and local actors, the existing databases and observation programmes and to accelerate their efforts to make the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET) operational as soon as possible;

60.  Urges the Commission to help Member States to launch a plan to survey and map wrecked ships and submerged archaeological sites – since these form part of the Community's historic and cultural heritage – and hence to facilitate understanding and the study of such sites and help prevent the despoliation to which they are being subjected, thus enabling them to be properly preserved;

61.  Welcomes the Atlas of the Seas recently developed by the Commission and encourages stakeholders to avail themselves of the Maritime Forum as the new instrument for collaboration and to engage the general public more effectively;

o   o

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

(1) OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0128.
(3). OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 531.
(4) OJ C 279 E, 19.11.2009, p. 30.
(5) Final report. Framework contract FISH/2007/04, Specific contract No 4. December 2009.

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