The EU has stated that the marine environment in Europe is a precious heritage that must be protected and preserved. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive has given us a common platform to work from and with the same rules applying for all EU countries. The goal is for all EU marine areas to reach good environmental status by 2020.
In practical terms, member states are to define and assess the environmental status of their waters, develop policies and monitoring programs, and implement measures. After following up on the results, the process begins again.
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) encompasses all marine waters within the EU including economic zones. In coastal zones, the Directive overlaps with another EU directive – the Water Framework Directive.
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive was incorporated into Swedish law in 2010 as part of the Marine Environmental Regulation (Havsmiljöförordningen) which complies with the directive. Sweden's goal is for the Baltic Sea and the North Sea to reach good environmental status.
We are responsible for the practical implementation of the Directive in Sweden. The regulations and measures that we adopt mean that other authorities will have to take responsibility in order for Sweden to fulfill all of its obligations under the Directive.
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive is one of the largest initiatives with binding regulations adopted to promote the marine environment in the EU.